After taking the cup, he gave thanks. . . . And he took bread, [and] gave thanks. . . .
— Luke 22:17-19
The simple but sacred meal that we call the Lord’s Supper has several different names.
Many people simply call this meal the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20). We do this because Jesus, our Lord, our God and King, gave us this meal. Many followers of Christ also call this meal “communion” because in this celebration they commune with the Lord and with each other, united in love, faith, and hope in Christ and all of God’s promises.
Many Christians also call this meal “the Eucharist,” which basically means “thanksgiving.” When Jesus celebrated this meal with his disciples, he gave thanks to God for it. And ever since then, the church has given thanks to God for providing this meal.
Early Christians had another name for this meal too, calling it the “love feast” or “agape feast” (see Jude 12). In some cases this may have included a larger fellowship meal along with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Why did they call it this? Because it showed that Jesus loved his followers so much that he was willing to die to defeat sin and death for them.
At this meal we have the opportunity to say that we love God too. And as we pass the food and drink to each other, we acknowledge that we love (or are trying to love) the people in our church family too.
Lord, we thank you for this meal by which you not only remind us of your love but also call us to experience your love and share it with others. We love you too. Amen.