Christianity was launched and set ablaze by the fire of Pentecost, and then sustained by the ever-present power of the Holy Spirit.
The book of Acts describes four major components of life together in the early church: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)
And Acts 20:7 states, “On the first day of the week we came together to break bread.”
Commenting on this passage, Ray Van Neste writes, “Paul, on his way to Jerusalem has stopped at Troas. Here ‘on the first day of the week’ he meets with the local church, and Luke directly states that the purpose of their gathering was ‘to break bread,’ i.e. to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. This passage need not mean the Lord’s Supper was the only purpose of their gathering, but it certainly is one prominent purpose and the one emphasized here. The centrality of communion to the weekly gathering is stated casually without explanation or defense, suggesting this practice was common among those Luke expected to read his account. These early Christians met weekly to celebrate the Lord’s Supper.”
But why would the early Church celebrate the Lord’s Supper so frequently? They obviously didn’t look at it the way many do today who say, “If we celebrate communion weekly, it will become less meaningful.”
Stop and think about that assumption for a moment. Does preaching become less meaningful if you hear a biblical sermon every week? Or instead, does God’s Word take on even more meaning in your life? What about prayer and fellowship?
In reality, the four components in Acts 2:42 become even more meaningful when believers joyfully and reverently engage in them often.
And since each component brings a blessing to God’s people, it makes sense that many Christians over the past 2,000 years have included all four of them in weekly worship, just like the first Christians did in the book of Acts.
In fact, here are 4 reasons the early church celebrated the Lord’s Supper every week:
1. Jesus Christ graciously instituted this holy meal for the benefit of His disciples, and Christians in the early Church were therefore grateful to celebrate it often.
The Lord’s Supper never “got old” or lost its appeal in the early Church. Those believers were filled with the Holy Spirit as they met together for worship and thanksgiving, and they didn’t take the Lord’s Supper for granted.
They knew their sins were completely forgiven before, during, and after their participation in this meal. This assurance of salvation gave them confidence to celebrate the Lord’s Supper for the right reason, as compared to those who go to communion without confident trust that their sins are already completely forgiven through faith in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: The Christian Post
Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.