Early Christian worship would have looked a lot different than it does today. They met in homes (Acts 12:12), in the temple courts (Acts 2:46), in the synagogue (Acts 17:10), in the catacombs (late 2nd Century), under a tree, other public spaces, etc. Places of worship weren’t built till early in the 3rd Century. Christians haven’t always sat in pews, facing forward, following an “order of worship.” Worship took on many different forms in the early centuries of the church. One of the major practices found in the early church was the agape feast, or love feast. You can find references to these love feasts in different parts of scripture. 2 Peter 2:13 and Jude 12 reference the love feast and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 paints a picture of the Lord’s Supper being a bigger meal in the Corinthian church. The Lord’s Supper was central to these Love Feasts and central to the identity of the Church.
This Sunday, we will begin the New Year with a meal together to remind us of our common story and identity in Christ. I am excited about what 2017 has in store for our congregation as we grow together as Family. Here are some passages to reflect on as you prepare to break bread with your Brothers and Sisters on Sunday.
1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 23-24
- What does it mean to participate in the blood of Christ?
- What does it mean to participate in the body of Christ?
- What does it mean for us as a congregation to take this meal together?
- Be thinking of people in our congregation that you need to focus on building a relationship with this year. Pray for your relationship with that person(s) to be shaped through your common relationship with Christ and His Church this year.
1 Peter 1:13-25
- What does it mean to “Be holy in all you do”? How does/should participating in the Lord’s Supper help you do that each week?
- When God says, “Be holy, because I am holy,” what is the purpose of our holiness?
- Who benefits from this holiness?
- What does this have to do with the purpose of the church in the world?
- What does it mean to, “live as foreigners here…” (v. 17)?
- How does participating in the Lord’s Supper remind us of our citizenship?
- Where does our citizenship come from? (Draw focus to the blood of Christ)
- Take a moment to examine the areas of your life where you put faith in “perishable things” (v. 18) instead of the “precious blood of Christ” (v. 19). Ask God to expose those areas of your life in this next year through your participation in the Lord’s Supper.
- Where have you seen God work in your life in 2016?
- Where have you seen God work in our church in 2016?
- What is a personal goal for your walk with God?
- What is a goal you have for your family as you walk with God together?
- What is a goal you have for your involvement in the Queen City Church Family?