The Lord's Supper
On the night on which He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper with His disciples. He did so on the night of the Passover feast, anticipating His coming sacrifice as the true Lamb of God. As He passed the bread and cup to His disciples, He commanded "This do in remembrance of Me." (Luke 22:19)
Early Christians understood this and made it part of their regular church practice (Acts 2:42). It was customarily done on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7), the day Jesus rose from the dead.
The object of this memorial feast is the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to remember Him. The loaf of bread represents His body, given on the cross for us. (Luke 22:19) The cup represents His blood shed for our sins. The Lord's Supper reminds us of the person and work of the Lord Jesus. It is primarily a time of worship, thanksgiving and adoration centered on God Himself, and not a time centered on blessings we have received or petitions (requests) for our own needs.
The feast is restricted to believers only. At the Bible Chapel of Shawnee anyone who names the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, and is living in fellowship with Him (1 Cor 11:27), is welcome to participate. If someone has not yet accepted salvation in Christ, or if he is unsure of his relationship with Christ, we would ask that he join us as an observer only and not partake of the bread or cup.
At the Bible Chapel of Shawnee the Lord's Supper is an open meeting where believers are encouraged to share from the Word of God, or offer a hymn or prayer. (1 Cor 14:26) The Holy Spirit Himself directs the time of worship. There is no prearranged program.
Public sharing is restricted to men. (1 Cor 14:34) Women are indeed free to pray and prophesy, but not publicly in the church meetings. (1 Tim 2:11-14) This is a matter of church order, not superiority or inferiority between genders, as God views all as equally one. (Gal 3:28) God also instructs women to have their head covered and men to have their head uncovered as they gather for prayer and worship. (1 Cor 11:4-5)
Public participation should be thoughtful and prayerful. Attention should be given to words of hymns sung or Scriptures shared in order to harmonize with others in the purpose of worship. We want to glorify Christ with hymns, scripture readings and prayers, all focusing on Him. This is not intended as a time to simply give out favorite hymns, tell anecdotes of our daily life, publicly confess failings, or give some doctrinal teaching that may have appealed to us personally. This is a time to exalt and magnify Christ alone.
Remember, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, then you are a holy priest (1 Peter 2:5) bringing sacrifices within the "holy of holies" where God is present. At the Lord's Supper, you are acting in a position of highest privilege to bring honor and glory to His name.