Category: Lord’s Supper

The Last Supper – sermon notes

Text: Luke 22:7-20

I wonder how many meals you have eaten in your life? Assuming a rate of 3 meals a day, then by the age of 16 you will already have eaten over 17,000 meals, and by the age of 60 over 65,000.

I wonder how many of these meals you can remember? Some are more memorable than others – a wedding reception, a birthday party, a family picnic, your first communion.

We come this morning to the last in a short series from Luke’s Gospel exploring notable meals that Jesus attended.…

Justification and the Lord’s Supper

John Stott comments on the teaching of the English Reformers, and their determination that their doctrines of justification and of the Lord’s Supper should be compatible with one another:-

They strenuously denied transubstantiation (‘the change is not the nature, but the dignity’ – Latimer), the real presence of Christ in the elements (‘his true body is truly present to them that truly receive him, but spiritually’ – Cranmer), and the notion that the mass could be a propitiatory sacrifice (for then ‘doth this sacrament take upon it the office of Christ’s passion, whereby it might follow that Christ died in vain’ – Ridley). 

The Significance of the Last Supper

According to I.H. Marshall, the Last Supper was a Passover meal, probably held one day before the official date.  But what significance did Jesus intend by it?

1.  The Passover Meal

There is every evidence from the Gospels that Jesus regarded this Passover meal as particularly important, and that he made careful arrangements to celebrate it undisturbed.

The Passover was a celebration of how God had brought the Israelites out of Egypt and set them on their way to the Promised Land. …

The ‘Real Presence’

‘Throughout history,’ writes Donald MacLeod, ‘discussion of the Lord’s Supper has been complicated, if not indeed be-devilled, by the question of the presence of Christ in the sacrament.’

When people speak of ‘the real presence’ they are not using the word ‘real’ merely to mean ‘genuine’, but rather to mean ‘the thing itself’.  ‘The real presence’ then refers to the idea that the body of Jesus is literally present in the bread and wine at Holy Communion.…

The significance of the Lord’s Supper

Towards the end of his comprehensive survey of the biblical teaching, I.H. Marshall draws the following conclusions about the the significance of the Lord’s Supper:-

1.  The Old Testament Background

The language and concepts of the Lord’s Supper are to be understood in terms of the Old Testament – especially Exodus 24, Isa 53 and Jeremiah 31.  There is a relationship between the acts of God as recorded in the Old Testament and those that are recorded in the New Testament, and this relationship is essentially one of promise and fulfilment.…

Julian of Norwich

Recently, I attended a Eucharist.  It being the feast day of Julian of Norwich (8th May), some attention was given within the service to this spiritual writer (1342-c1416).

Those who know me, or who are regular readers of my web site will realise that I was slightly out of my comfort zone at this event.  Clearly, we were firmly within the High Church, or Anglo-Catholic tradition of the Church of England.  A crucifix was prominent, as was a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and various other accoutrements of that tradition.…

Children and Communion 2

I was once asked to present a discussion paper to our Church Council on this subject.  Here’s what I came up with:-

1.  A Statement of the Case

The Anglican Church, in common with most other branches of the Christian church, supports the baptism of adult believers and their children.

When a child is brought by Christian parents to be baptised, the minister welcomes the child with the words,

“God has received you by baptism into his church.”

The congregation responds,

“We welcome you into the Lord’s family. 

Children and Communion

Some time ago, I participated in a debate on this subject, and was asked to argue in favour of the following motion:-

“We believe that it is right and proper for children who are baptised members of the church to be admitted to Holy Communion prior to their confirmation but following suitable preparation and instruction.”

Here’s my argument.  (Please bear in mind that the debate took place within an Anglican context).

Specifically, the parish may ask for the bishop’s permission for children to be so admitted, providing that the child has reached the age of seven years; that the child is regularly involved in Christian teaching and attendance at Sunday worship; and that the child has undergone a period of instruction and preparation.…