The Lord’s Supper for the Person in Grief
Many American Christians have never stopped to think about them many different aspects and meanings of the Lord’s Supper. We often rush through the ordinance (or sacrament in some traditions) in order to get to worship or preaching. However, I think there is a rich depth of meaning and layers we can experience when we partake of the Lord’s Supper. Can the Lord’s Supper minister to those in grief?
Think of the Lord’s Supper as a store which sells sun glasses. With each pair, we can see and experience something new. Not that world around us changes, but the way in which we see it varies slightly.
The Lord’s Supper can be experienced through many different “lens” so to speak.
The holy meal does not change. It will always be about and honor Jesus, but it can be experienced in unique ways if we open our minds.
One of these ways is the experience of grief.
Imagine with me for a moment that you are God. God and Jesus have an eternal and perfect love. They are the holy Father and Son, and they have always been in communion with each other. Imagine what it felt like for the Father to experience his Son die at the hands of his own creation. Imagine the pain the Father must have seeing his beloved son die so painfully.
It must be a horrible feeling.
Yet, that is what we celebrate. We celebrate the death of Jesus.
Could it be that the celebration of Jesus comes at expense of the Father’s grief? Think about it, every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Car 11:26). Our meal proclaims the event which caused the Father to grieve his Son.
Could it be that celebrating the Lord’s Supper is an affirmation of grief?
Grief is often taboo in our society. We rush it. People try to quickly return to life as “normal.” I think we should take a moment to reflect and see that grief is part of our celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Even in something so beautiful can grief be present.
For those who may be in a season of grief, come to the Lord’s Supper knowing, the father is grieving with you.
He knows your pain.
The Father knows your loss.
May the celebration of the Lord’s Supper both affirm your grief and give you hope for a day better yet to come.