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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Since 1948, Lloyd Sanderson's song 'Tis Set, The Feast Divine (#644 in Praise For the Lord; John P. Wiegand, Editor; Mark W. Mclnteer, Publisher; Praise Press, Nashville, TN 1997) has helped Christians "prepare their minds" to partake of the Lord's Supper. The words are simple but sublime: "'Tis set, the feast divine -- The bread, the fruit of the vine -- And saints commune before the shrine, In the supper of the Lord. May we the Lord discern, His death our holy concern; We feast in faith His coming yearn, in the supper of the Lord." All three of the synoptic gospels give accounts of the night Jesus observed "The Last Supper" with His disciples (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-23). In 1 Corinthians 11:20ff the apostle Paul gives instructions concerning the Lord's Supper and affirms he received them "from the Lord" (vs 23a). The passage shows that the Lord's Supper originated with the "Last Supper" Jesus ate with His disciples "on the same night in which He was betrayed" (vs 23b). Paul quotes Jesus as saying the bread and cup are to be consumed "in remembrance of Me" (vs23b, 24b). The Lord's Supper is a memorial. Its specific design is to help us remember something we would not be as likely to remember without the aid of the bread and cup of the Lord's Supper. The words of Jesus tell us exactly what that something is "the bread is My body which is broken for you" (vs 24) and "the cup is the new covenant in My blood" (vs 25), which, according to Matthew 26:28, was "shed for many for the remission of sins." Paul adds further that "as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes" (1 Corinthians 11:26). Did you get that? The Lord's death: that is to be our holy concern as we gather around the Lord's Supper.

Around the Lord's table our concern is not what we are "getting out of the service" or whether or not we liked the sermon. Our holy concern is not the ball game this past Friday night or the far out hat Sister Samantha is wearing today. Our holy concern is not clipping fingernails or passing notes or whispering with my girlfriend or making faces at the baby two pews in front of me. Our holy concern is not when will this be over or which restaurant we will dine at today or the fact that Brother Leroy is sound asleep again.  In the Lord's Supper, one thing and one thing alone takes center stage - Jesus' death is our holy concern. The cross is where we are to concentrate our thoughts. We gather at the table to go to Calvary. When you come to the Lord's Supper, take off your shoes and show some reverence. For if there is a holy place left on earth, it is found where saints commune before the shrine, in the supper of the Lord.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ