February 10, 2008

Rosie Perera - “The Lord's Supper”

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Sermon Recording: Download


Rosie Perera noted that the first Sunday of Lent was also Communion Sunday in our monthly calendar, so she led us through a study of the ceremonial meal of the Christian church: "The Lord’s Supper", a.k.a. the "Eucharist". She reviewed the scriptural references such as the fact that it was a Passover meal in Luke 22:15 and she called attention to the presence of Judas in Matt 26:21,23, and that it signaled the New Covenant in Matt 26:28. The Mennonite tradion of "do this in remembrance of me" comes only from Luke 22:19. Rosie raised the tricky subject of the body and blood of Christ and discussed the spectrum of intepretations from spiritually literal (Roman Catholic transubstantiation) to symbolic (as we Anabaptists take it) with Lutherans and Calvinists/Reformed in the middle. She also talked about how the frequency of practice ranges from weekly (or even daily) in some churches to once a year (at Easter) in others. On the thorny subject of being careful not to partake in an unworthy manner, she made the point that it shouldn't be about arriving at the table without guilt or blemish, but to respect the unity of sharing the celebration that Christ instituted (rather than just guzzling the wine and wolfing down the bread). Some groups like the the Lutherans are strict about only allowing their own denominational member to participate, while we leave it up to the individual to determine their own worthiness in open communion. She analyzed the four verbs used during the execution of the ceremony with reference to the bread: took, blessed, broke, gave away. Rosie then constructed a list of ten elements to think about based on Gordon Smith’s little book A Holy Meal: The Lord’s Supper in the Life of the Church: Remembrance, Community, Forgiveness, Sacrifice, Covenant, Spiritual nourishment, Thanksgiving, Anticipation of the final Banquet, Mystery, and Mission. The full text of Rosie's sermon is available for download as a Word document.


Communion: Yes
Ecumenical or Event: Lent I
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: Rosie Perera
Worship Leader: Henry Neufeld
Song Leader: Paul Thiessen
Pianist: Ruth Enns
Usher: Edward Epp
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