The LORD’S Supper…To GO?
A few weeks ago I had a dear friend ask about taking the LORD’S SUPPER over to a friends house or something along those line, I don’t remember the details. I wanted to respond after a little thought and prayerfully considering what the Word has to say about this. Generally speaking the Lord’s Supper is an act of the gathered family of those who believe in Jesus, the church. It is not an act for unbelievers. Unbelievers may be present when we partake of the elements but it is not intended to be secretive. I believe it is to be done in public. It has a public meaning. It is not a secretive, kind of cult like tradition with magical powers. It is a public act of worship by the gathered church. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 11:26, Paul says, “As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” So there is a public proclamation aspect to the supper. Public Proclamation, NOT Secretive Practice.
Now I would not tell someone they are forbidden to take the Lord’s Supper to someone in a nursing home or a hospital, but that kind of individual celebration I think is the exception to the rule and certainly not the Biblical pattern. Five times in 1 Corinthians 11, Paul speaks of the church “coming together” when the Lord’s Supper is eaten.
Vs 17 “When you come together it is not for the better but for the worse.”
Vs 18 “For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you.”
Vs 20 “When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat.”
Vs 33 “When you come together to eat, wait for one another.”
Vs 34: “If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment.”
In other words, they were degrading the Lord’s Supper by connecting it too closely to their regular meal eating, and some people had lots to eat and others had nothing. So he said, Eat your own dinner at home and come together to eat the Lord’s Supper.
And notice the word “church” in Vs. 18: “when you come together as a church.” This is the body of Christ, the assembly of the followers of Jesus. Those who have turned from their old ways of life and trusted Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins. These are Christians. So again generally speaking the participants in the Lord’s Supper are the gathered believers in the LORD Jesus Christ.
I hope that was helpful and answers any questions.