Jun 022005

Just started reading Eric Svendsen’s Blog, “Real Clear Theology Blog”, and ran across this post asking “Where Did We Ever Get the Notion That the Lord’s Supper is a Funeral Procession?. This is just one post of 16 in his series on the Lord’s Supper. ( I like his tongue in cheek: “We do theology for you . . . So you don’t hurt yourself”)

Walk into any evangelical church when it is observing the Lord’s Supper, and what do you see? Sober mood, solemn faces; hands folded, heads bowed in silent contemplation; members engaged in self examination and somber introspection while focused on numbering and confessing their sins; wavering, hesitating, anxiety-laden hearts:

“Should I take the bread and cup or not? Have I confessed all my sins? Am I personally worthy enough to partake, or does last week’s sin disqualify me? I certainly don’t want to eat and drink judgment to myself!”

How true! And how sad. Eric then goes on to show how the early church celebrated the Lord’s Supper.

Now walk into a first-century church meeting of the Lord’s Supper, and what do you see?

“and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart” (Acts 2:46).

Read the rest of his article at: Real Clear Theology Blog

  5 Responses to “The Lord’s Supper: Time of Gladness or Soberness?”

  1. Well, I think it’s pretty clear from scripture that the Lord’s Supper should be “sober”. (1 Cor. 11:20-22) But it should also be a time of gladness as well. I don’t really see the two concepts as being contradictary at all.


  2. If you use this passage as normative though, you have to figure out how people were going home hungry and others gorging themselves on a wafer. Some in the front rows must have been hording the little cups of wine and getting drunk before any of the good stuff could get to the back rows. :)

    I really wonder if the massive internal introspection that we exegete out of 1 Corinthians 11:28 is what the apostle Paul had in mind. Nowhere does it say that we should refrain from participation based on this ‘examination’.

  3. “Sober”? I agree wholeheartedly. There should be no drunkenness at the Lord’s table.

  4. I wondered when someone else was going to catch that. :D


  5. Sober – Somber = same thing right?

    When I am sober I am somber and when I am somber I am definitely sober.

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