The fellowship of churches sometimes known as the Restoration Movement has several distinctive characteristics. One of these is that celebration of the Lord’s Supper happens weekly, not monthly, quarterly, or yearly, as in other denominations and churches. The most common rationale I’ve heard from people who don’t practice this sacrament weekly is that if it were practiced too often, it would lose its power, its meaning, its “specialness.”
So I tried to think about an event that would be special to me, to think through whether it could become routine, too common, “unspecial.” And I thought, what if I was allowed to attend a concert of one of my favorite singer-songwriters, something that now happens maybe once a year? What if I got to go to a live concert of his every single week? How could that become too common?
Well, if he played the same set, week after week, and there were no new songs, no new lyrical insights, no new melodies—that would get old. It would be predictable. So maybe newness is the answer. But even then, if there were new songs in the concert every week, would it still carry the importance and meaning that a once-a-year concert would? Probably not. If something else came up that conflicted, I would be tempted to skip one concert (unlike a once-a-year opportunity).
But what if that weekly concert wasn’t just a chance to be one-in-a-thousand, cheering from an anonymous distance? What if instead, I got to meet him? And not just meet him, but talk with him, ask him questions, and listen to his answers? I have enough respect for my favorite singer-songwriter that I think that would be a great opportunity. And it would certainly make the weekly event more meaningful.
But even then, no matter who it was, their insights would sometimes be wrong. Sometimes they would have an off week, or be in a bad mood, or write a bad song. And there I’d be again, tempted to skip when something more interesting came along.
The aspect of the Lord’s Supper that changes this, that makes it something we can never take for granted, is Who we meet at this table. His insights are never wrong. His creativity never comes to an end. We will never come to the end of the riches of His wisdom, or His mercy, or His love. He is really in this room, in your heart, in your life. And as easy as it gets sometimes to forget His presence, at this table we set everything else aside to focus on the One who offered Himself in the Body and the Blood, and who continues to offer Himself, through the unceasing presence of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Because the One we celebrate here never ends, the depth of meaning in this celebration is also unending.