This post is a continuation of my series Positive Acts.
Why does the church get together? Is it for "worship," as much of the American church believes today? No, it is not. Rather, the bible tells us that the body of Christ comes together for edification. I Corinthians 14:26 says, "What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up" (ESV).
One key method the church uses to bring about mutual edification is the Lord's Supper. I'm not referring to the typical funeral-like ceremony held by institutional churches. Rather, I'm talking about what we see in scripture: a joyful and full meal in which the church family has a great time. In Acts 20 this is what we see in Troas.
Paul was passing through town. He got together with his friends. They were meeting that night for a specific purpose. Luke writes in 20:7, "On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight." They gathered to break bread. As they ate together, Paul talked with them. He likely told them all about the many things God was doing through him and his companions while they were traveling about Asia and Greece.
God wants his people to gather. He also wants them to gather for the right reason. Worship is a 24/7 exercise. The church comes together not specifically for worship, but for edification. One primary means of edification is the Lord's Supper.
If we do not know why God wants his body to gather, then how can we ever accomplish what our Lord desires through our meetings?