The Lord’s Supper is the most joyous feast this world has ever known. It’s where sinners are welcomed into God’s home, and clothed with white robes of Christ’s righteousness, while a banner of love hovers over the whole festival. Indeed, this is a celebration. And it is not limited in scope to just a certain people group. The nations are invited.
But while the world is invited to the festal celebration, we must remember that joy and reverence preside. Sinful man would love to turn this into a meal where everyone is welcome but there are no rules, no order, no standard, and thus turn it into a feast where appetite presides. Pagan feasts of old often demonstrated this by their debauched and lecherous gluttony.
No. This feast has hard truths which fence it. We’re told in one place that eating this meal without faith, which is eating it unworthily, turns this bread and wine into damnation (1 Cor. 11:29). In another place, we’re told that if someone is living a sinful and unrepentant lifestyle we are not to eat with them (1 Cor. 5:11). When someone is formally cut off from this meal it is known as excommunication. When the church excommunicates someone it’s because they have shown that they prefer the table of sin, and thus unless and until they repent they’re no longer welcomed here.
But these hard truths don’t spoil the meal, any more than a father’s loving discipline and presence ruin a family’s supper. Rather, they ensure that the purity and peace of this celebration remain untainted. These hard truths keep the household in order so that the laughter, songs, and stories around the table might be enjoyed with clear consciences. They serve––not as an impediment––but as a fence around the fellowship of this table. These hard truths ensure that the wine we taste is joy unmingled.
So come in faith, and welcome to Jesus…