Too much talking at the table
July 4, 2012
I'm with Carl on giving more prominence to the Lord's Table in our churches, though one of my besetting sins, and other men administering at the table, is that of talking too much. Carl's point regarding the tension of striking, 'a balance between fencing of the Table (discouraging from participation those who are trusting in their own righteousness) and pressing the need to participate on those who are perhaps weary and struggling,' is a difficult one, though not impossible. What is not needed though is another sermon or a sentimental whip up of emotions. One way is to frame our language using the confessions we subscribe to.
On Sunday night I used the answer to the Heidelberg Catechism:
Question 81 Who should come to the Table?
''For those who are truly sorrowful for their sins, and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining infirmities are covered by his passion and death; and who also earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy; but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and drink judgment to themselves.''
One other thing is, why do people often go into the semi foetal position when holding the bread, scrunch up their eyes as if they are trying to imagine Jesus on the cross. It's a Protestant ritual. Open your eyes and look around you! Recognise the body of Christ. Rejoice in forgiveness of sins, rejoice with your brothers and sisters, look and see, not hide and imagine. The sacraments are a visible word!
One gem of a little book on the Lord's Supper is 'Remember Him' by JW Alexander.