Memorial meeting, importance
Only two "rites" are absolutely commanded to the believer:
baptism, and the Breaking of Bread. By the first we join God's family, and by
the second we regularly reaffirm our membership in this family.
It is surprising that there are any with full opportunity to
attend regularly who are content to be at the Breaking of Bread just now and
then. For this most important service is essentially a thanksgiving. A casual
attitude toward it, with irregular attendance, in effect declares, "I am
thankful to God for the Lord Jesus Christ and what he has done for me, but not
much! And there are other things which I regard as being more
Put down in black and white, this looks horrible. But is there
really anything unfair about such a diagnosis?
Would there be such a careless attitude to the Table of the
Lord if it were properly appreciated what this meeting can mean? Consider the
familiar words, "My blood of the new covenant... shed... for the remission of
sins" (Mat 26:28).
Here is the identical phrase which is used about our baptism
into Christ. These two holy rites are designed to supplement one another.
Baptism washes away every sin committed up to that moment. But -- such is human
frailty and human thinking -- spotless robes of righteousness invariably begin
to become drab and soiled. However, the disciple who lives by faith in Christ
knows that with the Memorial Service comes remission (forgiveness) of sins.
There the robe of righteousness resumes its original brightness.
Yet faced with such startling but delightful truths as these,
there are some who are indifferent to this most important thing in life, and do
not mind openly asserting, by their lack of enthusiasm, that this is how they
Away from home
From time to time, believers find themselves away from their
homes, and their home ecclesias, on a Sunday. Such times are fine opportunities
to get to know other Christadelphians, by attending memorial meetings of other
ecclesias. A little foresight and planning before weekend trips or vacations can
be spiritually rewarding, in experiencing at first hand the true worldwide
family fellowship of our brotherhood. A week or two spent on business in a
strange city far from home, rather than being a desolate and lonely time, can be
a wonderful time of sharing with people who are truly "family" -- family in a
more meaningful sense, quite often, than one's own natural family. As Jesus
"Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? Pointing to his
disciples, he said, Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the
will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother" (Mat
There will be times, of course, when it will be clearly
impossible -- or extremely difficult -- to attend a Sunday meeting of
Christadelphians. What should be done then? The partaking of the bread and wine,
accompanied by suitable Bible readings and prayers, can be a tremendously fresh
and rewarding experience -- even for an individual or a couple temporarily
isolated from all other spiritual companionship.