1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Thoughtfully read the following excerpts from the Gospel Fluency Handbook together…
On the night Jesus was betrayed, he shared the Passover meal with his disciples. That meal commemorated the night when God struck down every firstborn son of Egypt while protecting his people from the same fate. Their protection came through the Passover lambs that were sacrificed and eaten inside homes where the doorposts had been covered with the lambs’ blood. This was the final straw for Pharaoh, and he finally let God’s people go. Ever after, the Passover was a remembrance meal of God’s redemption of Israel out of slavery.
At his last meal with his disciples before his death, Jesus showed how every Passover meal was pointing to him. And at this meal, Jesus changed the Passover to the Lord’s Supper as his meal. It became a meal at which we remember how he redeemed us out of slavery to sin and Satan by becoming the true and better sacrificial Lamb of God for us.
Jesus picked up the bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying: “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” Paul said, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor. 11:26). We should remember him regularly with the meal and practice proclaiming his death to each other through it.
Another helpful practice for both remembrance and growth in gospel proclamation is to speak the gospel through the elements to each other’s needs, hurts, and longings in small-group gatherings or missional-community meetings. I first tried this during a missional-community gathering at our home in January several years back. I explained to our group that I wanted each of them to share something they were struggling with; a desire they had that was yet to be met; or doubts or fears they might be experiencing. Then one of us would take the bread and the cup, and speak the truths of Jesus’ body given and blood shed for us to the need… We [went] around the circle: one after another, we confessed our need for a Savior, and one after another, we proclaimed the good news of Jesus to our very real needs. It was an incredibly joyous and tear-filled experience of grace!
I’ve led this same experience many times now with brand-new Christians as well as church leaders. It isn’t always the same experience. Some are not very fluent in the gospel and therefore struggle with how to speak it to specific needs. However, I let people know that’s okay when I start and that those in the group will help one another. I usually ask for someone to volunteer to share, and let the person to the right know he or she will be asked to speak the gospel to the need. I then say: “If you don’t know what to say, let us know and the rest of us will help. Over time, we will all get better at this.”
God has given us many ways to remember him and grow in proclaiming the gospel. They are around us all the time in what is called general revelation—creation and the rhythms of life within it. Our job is to learn to see the truths of God around us and speak the truths of the gospel into it. The meal—“the Jesus Supper”—is the one he told us to use to regularly remember him. It is also one of the most effective ways I have found to train us to do this in all the other places of life as well.
Start with the meal every week, then practice remembering Jesus at the others meals, and you will have twenty-two stops through your week in gospel remembrance and proclamation. If you do this, you will be well on your way to growing in gospel fluency with others!
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