It is a memorial of Christ's life and death.
It is a symbol of Christ's work.
It represents the union of all God's people; at the table of the Lord all human souls are on a level.
It represents the soul's constant dependence upon Christ for strength. Christ is the daily bread of life to the soul.
It represents the mystic union of Christ and his people; he lives in them and they in him.
The Lord's Supper is a special communion with Christ when, in a particular manner, he reveals himself to the believing heart.—Dr. Smith Baker
Dr. Charles R. Erdman lists the following as constituting the experiences of men and women at the table of the Lord:
It must be for us a time of retirement.
It is to be a time of communion.
It is to be a season of gratitude.
It is to be a time of hope.
It is to be a time of consecration.
It should be a time of humility.
It should be a time of new resolutions.
The mystery of this union with Christ puzzles many. It is an experience which can be lived and even illustrated, but never fully explained. The old colored man had the right answer for the man who said sarcastically, "You said Christ lived in you, and now you say you are in him. How can that possibly be?" The old negro said thoughtfully, "See this poker? I'll put it in the fire until it turns red. Now the fire's in the poker and the poker's in the fire."—King's Business
The writer witnessed several women seated in front of her in a large church take the bread as it was passed, then reach for their compacts and, regarding their mirrors, touch up their complexion, add rouge to their lips, then replace the compact to reach the Communion wine being extended toward them!—Mrs. Ralph Norton, in Moody Monthly.
The Lord's table is like a great bridge, spanning the entire interval of the Church's history on earth. One end of it rests on the shame of the cross, the other is planted in the glory of the kingdom. This feast sustains a threefold relationship to the Christian:
It is the Reminder of our Past Justification.
It is the Source of our Present Sustenance in the new life.
It is the Pledge of our Future Blessedness and Glory.
It is a Table of Remembrance (v. 24).
It is a Table of Obedience—Take, eat, ... drink ye all of it" (v. 24).
It is a Table of Self-examination (v. 28).
It is a Table of Communion (I Cor. 10:16).
It is a Table of Thanksgiving (v. 24).
It is a Table of Confession (v. 26)
It is a Table of Expectation—"Till he come" (v. 26c).
It is a Table of Hope for Israel also (Rom. 11:26).—George C. Needham.
Aatami Kuortti, a Lutheran pastor in Russia, was sentenced to ten years of hard labor in a concentration camp because of his refusal to become a spy for the government. A very large proportion of the prisoners were Christians, whose only offense was their Christian faith. One of the Finnish believers received a package from home, a little bread and a few apples. The first thing he thought of was that it would be possible now to celebrate the Lord's Supper. He proposed this to Pastor Kuortti. The pastor thought it impossible. "The guards would certainly interfere." "But it is all arranged," said Kajada. "I have already crushed the apple juice in a mug and the crusts will serve as communion bread. We can have the holy ordinance in the corner where my brother and I have our place, and the Russians if they see us will think we are drinking tea." "I gladly fell in with the proposal of the brethren. After repetition of Scripture, I blessed the bread and the mug of apple juice, and we ate the Lord's Holy Communion. The altar was but a dirty plank, and the pastor, as well as his flock, was in rags, yet we realized the presence of Christ."—Sunday School Times.
The quaint Scottish saint, "Rabbi" Duncan, was minister of a Perthshire parish. On one Communion Sunday, he observed a woman, troubled by lack of "assurance," passing the cup untasted. He stepped down, took the cup, and handed it back to her, saying in broad Doric: "Tak' it, woman, tak' it; it's for sinners."—David Smith, in British Weekly.
Communion even for the cannibals (Luke 22:19). John G. Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides, in describing the first Communion service on the Island of Aniwa, says: 'The whole service occupied nearly three hours. The Islanders looked on with a wonder whose unwonted silence was almost painful to bear. Many were led to inquire carefully about everything they saw, so new and strange. For the first time the Dorcas Street Sabbath School Teachers' gift from South Melbourne Presbyterian Church was put to use—a new communion service of silver. They gave it in faith that we would require it, and in such we received it. And now the day had come and gone! For three years we had toiled and prayed and taught for this. At the moment when I put the bread and wine into those dark hands, once stained with the blood of cannibalism but now stretched out to receive and partake the emblems and seal of the Redeemer's love, I had a foretaste of the joy of glory that well-nigh broke my heart to pieces. I shall never taste a deeper bliss till I gaze on the glorified face of Jesus Himself' (This wonderful service occurred on October 24, 1869).—From the Story of John G. Paton.
A Nigerian missionary arrived at a Communion service in which four towns were combining, and heard an African addressing the crowded church in a preparatory meeting as follows: "I cannot tell you the gladness that is in my heart today. As I walked along the path with the other members from my town I saw that each man held in his hand his Testament and his hymn-book. No man carried a cutlass or a gun. No man walked with fear; every man with faith in you. And yet it is but four years ago that no man from my town would have walked through your town without a cutlass in his hand, and even then he would not have walked alone. Nor would any man from your town have come unarmed through ours. What is the reason for this difference? At that time we worshiped the same gods as you did. Today we worship the same God as you do, but the God we worship today is the God of peace. We have learned that He is our Father, and that we are brothers."—Bishop of Croydon.