When the early church gathered for worship, the focus was not a band or a sermon from a pastor. There was certainly singing voices and teaching Scriptures, but the climax was a celebratory meal of remembrance, an Agape Feast. The Eucharist was the reason they gathered, the center of their worship and the reason for their hope.
Then somewhere along the way, mainly in the past 50 years, a growing branch of the American evangelical church decided the Lord’s Supper could be relegated to a monthly or quarterly afterthought. No one was being heretical or insensitive, but the focus of our gathering was certainly changing. This was the tradition in which I was raised.
We have decided at New Life to bring it back to the center of our worship, to return our attention to the mystery of Christ’s body and blood. Starting this Sunday, and on most Sundays thereafter, communion will be the highlight of our gathering. We will gather to sing and I will still teach the Scriptures, but there will be a time in each gathering where we pause, pray and celebrate the sacred.
Some Sundays, we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper while we sing and on other Sundays we will respond to the teaching of the Scriptures by ending our gathering with communion. Regardless of when it happens, it will certainly be the underscore and the emphasis of our time together.
In a world where absolute truth and sound theology are under attack, I believe, for us at New Life, we are being centered again on a foundational stone and are returning to the mysteries that call us to a deeper place of worship. For us, communion is the bridge between a miraculous, resurrected past, a hopeful present and a prophetic future.