Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
Wonderful Paper from Jeff Meyers on the Lord's Supper
"Eating and drinking alone is sometimes necessary. But it is not normal. You may have to eat fast food in your car by yourself occasionally. But when there are other people at a common table eating with you, ignoring them is rude and anti-social. It's just plain weird. What would we think about a meal at home with everyone seated around the family table but no one speaks to anyone else? No one looks at anyone else. Everyone acts as if no one else is really present. What if everyone curled up to consume his or her own private meal in silence? We would think something is wrong. And we would be right. Now, by way of analogy, could it be that something is wrong with the way we perform the Lord's Supper in our churches?" (pp. 13-14)
So how should we administer the sacrament so that what actually happens is what the Lord intends to happen among his people? Let me suggest a few possibilities. Start with training people to stop curling up and bending inward during the Supper. Let them know it is okay to keep their head up and look around at others. It's more than okay; it is the best way to eat together. It is normal. Give them something to sing together, or better, to say to one another during the distribution. As they pass the bread to the person next to them, they could say, 'The Body of Christ given for you.' The one receiving might say, 'Amen,' or even 'Thank you.' As they pass the wine, 'The peace of Christ be with you.' The recipient could say, 'And also with you.' After they pass the bread and/or the wine they can greet the person behind them or in front of them. They might even -- gasp! -- chat with them for a moment about how they are doing. This would mean that the sanctuary would be filled with the noise of many joyful conversations around the room, surely even some laughter. The Supper would then be a ritual that the people of God actually experienced as the communal meal it is meant to be." (pp. 15-16)
"We confess that the grace we need as sinners comes from outside of us (extra nos). But when people come to the Table, the way we do the sacrament effectively teaches them to look inward for assurance. Our repeated and excessive emphasis on 'fencing the Table' has the effect of making it difficult for Christian people to find assurance at the Lord's Table. Our 'super fencing' tradition ends up asking people to be assured of their salvation before they come to the Table. Our 'super warnings' obscure the communal dimension of the sacrament, and in effect insure that each person is isolated and alone in his or her quest for assurance. Here, then, is a particularly serious example of the sacrament actually accomplishing something different or even at odds with what God intends because of our poor performance of the rite." (pp. 17-18)