Marvin L. Weir
It is amazing to observe the steps man will take to please himself. It is even more amazing to note the steps man will not take to please the Lord! We now have a generation of young folks who are members of the church of Christ that neither know nor care about sacred matters. Such is true because their parents have failed to teach them the way of the Lord, and they have never searched the Scriptures seriously themselves. (Deut. 6:6-9; Eph. 6:3; 2 Tim. 3:15). The congregations they attend specialize in the “felt needs” approach, and ridicule respect for a “thus saith the Lord.” One must ever be careful not to make vain a spiritual act. Guy N. Woods makes this noteworthy statement: “The phrase ‘in vain,’ translates a Hebrew term signifying that which is done in a flippant, frivolous fashion, without due regard for, or attention to, the sacred nature of the same.” Thus, an act of worship to be engaged in on the Lord’s Day as a memorial of our Lord and His sufferings in death for our sins, is not to be implemented at will as dramatic appeal at social events!
The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the death of Christ for our sins. Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper:
Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it; and he gave to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins. But I say unto you, I shall not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:26-29).
The kingdom of God came with power (Mark 9:1) on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). The day of Pentecost was always the next day after a certain sabbath (Lev. 23:15-16), and the sabbath was the seventh day (Exo. 20:10). In Acts 20:7, the apostle Paul waited to “break bread” (a reference to the Lord’s Supper) on the first day of the week. Paul warned the Corinthians who had assembled on the Lord’s Day:
Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. For he that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern not the body” (1 Cor. 11:27-29).
The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of the Lord’s death (1 Cor. 11:26—not His burial and resurrection), and we are told in the Holy Scriptures when, where, why, and how we are to partake. It is now becoming quite common to hear that young married couples are partaking of the Lord’s Supper at their wedding ceremony. Many congregations wearing the name church of Christ evidently think this blatant abuse of the Lord’s Supper is a wonderful thing and pleasing to the Heavenly Father. Nothing could be further from the truth! A wedding ceremony is a social event and not a part of our worship to the Lord on the first day of the week. Brethren, we dare not mix the two together as there is absolutely no Scriptural authority to do so!
A wedding ceremony may include a feast (John 2), but not the Lord’s Supper. In a marriage ceremony, those who have a God-given right to marry become “one flesh” (Matt. 19:5- 6). Oneness in Christ, however, can be possible only if both the man and woman have obeyed the precious gospel. It cannot be made more clear than did Paul when he said,
For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ. There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in Christ Jesus. And if ye are Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:26-29).
As has already been mentioned, it now seems to be rather “stylish” for those professing to be Christians to celebrate the Lord’s supper after being united in marriage. But those who are only concerned with what they want do not mind that there is not a shred of Biblical authority for partaking of the Lord’s Supper at a wedding ceremony. A member of the Lord’s church is authorized by God’s Word to partake of the Lord’s supper only on the first day of the week (Sunday) at a Lord’s Day worship assembly of the saints. To do otherwise, is to take a sacred act of worship and treat it in a selfish, flippant, frivolous fashion to satisfy a human whim. In 1 Corinthians 11:20, the entire congregation of the Lord’s people had assembled together to worship God. Each member would partake of the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is to be observed only on Sunday and is never to be incorporated into a wedding ceremony (or any other social event) whether observed by many people or by only two people.
The Scriptures declare of Christ, “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19, emph. MLW). The apostle Paul also affirms,
For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me (1 Cor. 11:23-24, emph. MLW).
These Scriptures instruct us in what to do and the purpose for which it is to be done. The Lord’s Supper is observed in memory of the death of the Lamb Of God who took away the sins of the world.
May we carefully consider the seriousness of making mockery of sacred acts of worship! The Lord will not hold him guiltless who does such. When people once again desire to glorify God instead of man, foolish acts such as serving communion (Lord’s Supper) at a wedding ceremony or any other social event will cease to be practiced.
May we never treat sacred matters in flippant fashion!