Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Spurgeon on Weekly Communion


I am currently writing an article in which, among other things I am arguing for the weekly celebration of communion. In the process I was pointed to this quote from Spurgeon. I like it especially because it expresses so well what I have experienced at our church where we do have communion weekly. The biblical arguments are readily available and the benefits can be enumerated at length. More on those later. But here is Spurgeon's quote:


“So with the Lord's Supper. My witness is, and I think I speak the mind of many of God's people now present, that coming as some of us do, weekly, to the Lord's table, we do not find the breaking of bread to have lost its significance—it is always fresh to us. I have often remarked on Lord's-day evening, whatever the subject may have been, whether Sinai has thundered over our heads, or the plaintive notes of Calvary have pierced our hearts, it always seems equally appropriate to come to the breaking of bread. Shame on the Christian church that she should put it off to once a month, and mar the first day of the week by depriving it of its glory in the meeting together for fellowship and breaking of bread, and showing forth of the death of Christ till he come. They who once know the sweetness of each Lord's-day celebrating his Supper, will not be content, I am sure, to put it off to less frequent seasons. Beloved, when the Holy Ghost is with us, ordinances are wells to the Christian, wells of rich comfort and of near communion.”
“Songs of Deliverance,” Sermon no. 763, July 28, 1867, preaching from Judges 5:11. http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0763.htm.

Amen!

9 comments:

Sam Bullington said...

Yes! I have never understood how congregations justify not celebrating the Eucharist each Sunday. Spurgeon is so good at pointing out that the common excuse of, "well, we just don't want it to get old," betrays the excuse-maker's ignorance of the nature of the Lord's Supper. I'd very much like to read that article when you've finished it.

j razz said...

Surely no one thinks it plausible that the church would fear the Eucharist becoming a relic before their very eyes? Would they? If this is the voiced fear of the modern "church", one can only assume that they would stop meeting together on a weekly basis due to the practice becoming repetitive, non-eventful and less meaningful. Then one would have to assume that preaching should only be done quarterly as that too falls into the danger of being repetitive, old, non-eventful, etc, etc. Where does it stop? Where do we draw the line?
If this simple teaching of our Lord and Savior is not held with much regard, how much more the harder things of the Lord taught through His Apostles and by Himself?
It would appear that this mode of thinking can be very dangerous to the health of the Church.

Ray Van Neste said...

Yes, indeed, 'it will get old' is one of the main arguments given against weekly celebration of communion. In my article I do ask if we want to apply this to other things like prayer, etc. as you mentioned Jrazz.

Joel Maners said...

Being a member of a Church of Christ, Communion has always held a central position in our weekly gatherings. We may not have preaching but we'll always have the Lord's Supper. I think it serves to remind us and the world what is central to the faith, the death burial and resurrection of Jesus. Paul says it best in I Corinthians whn he says that in taking the Supper we "proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." It is a proclamation to both us and the world. It is God's invitation to have fellowship with him. We respond by accepting his offer of bread and wine in loving communion. To me, church would not be church without it. I would encourage all Christians to accept His offer and extend His invitation each week.

God bless.

-j

Anonymous said...

I love Charles Spurgeon,
He is so cut and dry, and so full of real passion! His book Lectures to my students is a great book that I have enjoyed. Good practical advice. I love that he was virtually a Holy-Spirit taught man. I heard that he never went to cemetary. Ooops I mean Seminary!

I am a musician and I would be honored if you would check out my music. All my music is free for download. Anyway, I don't mean to be a pest, just thought I'd share.

Thanks,
-Sean
______________________
www.SeanDietrich.com
"All my muisc is free."

Ray Van Neste said...

Sean,

I look forward to hearing your music. I too really like Spurgeon. However, do not misunderstand the way he learned. He had a large library and read extenisvely from his early days in the Puritans. He would have no part with those who said they simply relied on the Holy Spirit to teach them without efforst and study- including the reading of others- on their part. Evidence of his thoughts on this is seen n the fact that he started a college for pastors himself. He obviously thoughts education was a good thing.

James Grant said...

ray,

Just read the post. Do you know if Spurgeon practiced weekly communion? I do not think he did, but I am not sure.

james grant

Ray Van Neste said...

Hey James,

I don't know for sure. This quote makes it sound like he did, but I don't have further evidence one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Why not daily then, every supper? If an interval is to be chosen, annual would seem the most logical. I'm sure the time could be adequately filled discussing some of the other teachings of Jesus. I find that the Catholic church, in particular, seems to feel their highest function is to serve as a eucharist vending machine. A machine might be less mechanical about it. Surely the congregation has other needs. I know the Bible has other chapters too. A weekly repetition is not required for this special rite to be appropriately honored and remembered.