Separate and Apart
That sounded good to me for I felt that you certainly would not want to mix the two. This practice caught on all over the brotherhood. Some places had the contribution at the close of the service and the Supper at the beginning so as not to confuse the two.
But as I think back on this, I cannot ever remember anyone who ever got confused about the Supper and the contribution. And as I think about it now, I think that it might be real good for some of our members throughout the brotherhood to get the two a little mixed up.
What would be wrong in thinking about the suffering and death of our sweet Lord Jesus on the cruel cross for us individually as we drop our collection into the plate?
What would it hurt to say to ourselves, "God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son . . ." as we put a few dollars into God's collection? What harm in thinking about the New Covenant that we have entered into with Jesus that was sealed by His precious blood at that moment on that cross? That Covenant that guarantees us eternal life in eternity and joy and bliss right here and now? It is nice to think about what He has given us while we give to Him!
We do not exclude the thoughts of the cross from our preaching or class lessons. At least, I hope we do not exclude the scenes of His death from our songs as we worship. And we certainly mention this time and again in the prayers that we pray together. Why separate the heart of the Gospel from our giving? Why think that one is spiritual and one is physical?
What would it do to our giving if all of us thought long and earnestly about Jesus on the cross just before we put our expression of love to Him in the collection plate? You know what it would do!
Let's not separate Jesus on the cross from any part of our living and especially not giving.
The preceding was an article that I received via e-mail from a cousin who preached for 40 plus years. I think back to a time when I was in a congregation that dimmed the lights for the Lord’s Supper, and then turned them back on when it was time for the contribution.
I must question myself, constantly about where my heart is for the Lord’s Supper. If I am thinking of things other than the crucifixion of our Savior for my sins, I am denying the importance of Christ’s sacrifice.
As to the “separate & apart” ideology, when we are writing our checks out during the fruit of the vine, how separate is that? When we rummage around for the cash during the communion; that is not apart.
I would like to challenge you to prepare yourself for the Lord’s Supper the night before, by preparing not only your heart and mind for worship, but by preparing your mind to recognize Christ’s offering to you. In reality, the time set aside can be seen as a two part offering. During the bread and the fruit of the vine, we are pledging our love and devotion to God, and that we remember the price that was paid for us. During the offering, we are saying that all that I own I offer to you Lord God.
So maybe next time, you can have your check written out before you get to the building, or maybe put your money inside your Bible at a scripture that you have selected to read to “prepare your mind.” Whatever the case, we need to understand that the Blood of Christ touches the entire fabric of our lives, not just bits and pieces separately and apart.