BY DR. STU PARSONS:
I sometimes tell my classes about some of the theological implications of the Lord’s Supper. These are actually very much a blessing to me on a weekly basis, since I am blessed to be a member of a church that celebrates the Supper weekly.
As I wait in line to eat and drink the elements, I pray to our Father, thanking Him for His grace poured out for us 2000 years ago when He gave His Son to atone for our sin (see for example, Hebr 9:14 [NIV here and below], “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”). Then I pray thanking Him for His grace poured on us here and now as I enjoy the supper-fellowship with my brothers and sisters as the Holy Spirit works through them. And then I move from past and present experiences of grace to that future grace that we will experience when the Son gathers us to the ultimate Lord’s Supper, the marriage supper of the Lamb (as the angel says in Rev 19:9, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!”). I picture it as that ultimate church fellowship meal, in the Eden-like setting that John’s Revelation calls the “New Heaven and the New Earth.” These rich images are worship blessings available to us only if we take seriously that historic and rich theology that powers them, and leave off proud and foolish tendencies to minimize or actively reject theology itself. These images are rich, biblical, helpful, and true. They generate joy and gratitude to Him.
Dr. Parsons holds a M.Div fom Western Seminary and a S.T.M. and Ph.D. from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has taught Bible, ancient Greek, church history, and theology at Trinity College of Florida since 2006, and chairs the Bible and Theology Department. His scholarly specialty is early Christianity, especially early Christian use of Scripture. He is the author of Ancient Apologetic Exegesis: Introducing and Recovering Theophilus’s World.