The Lord’s Supper should not “be viewed as a funeral for poor Jesus rather than the wedding supper of the victorious Lamb.”
—Laurence Hull Stookey, Eucharist: Christ’s Feast with the Church, 153
Since Christ is the host of the meal, and very much present in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the focus and central dynamic of the event are in the present, not the past. We are not, then, reliving or reenacting a past event—neither the event of the cross nor the event of the Last Supper. We are, rather, allowing a past event to shape and inform the present.
—Gordon T. Smith, A Holy Meal: The Lord’s Supper in the Life of the Church, 40
The Lord’s Supper is the meal of the church, the body of Christ, and our basis for gathering around this table is not our blood affiliation but the fact that we have been called together by Christ. This meal, in the language of the hymn “The Church’s One Foundation,” is the holy food of the faith community:
Elect from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.
—Gordon T. Smith, A Holy Meal: The Lord’s Supper in the Life of the Church, 54