LORD’S SUPPER & FEET WASHINGThe Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is a sacred ordinance that our Lord Himself instituted on the night He was betrayed as He ate the Passover with His disciples (Luke 22:14–22). He instructed that this be done in remembrance of Him. It is representative of our communion and fellowship with Him. The apostle Paul reiterated the Lord’s instructions to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:23–25), adding some helpful details: “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, (in an unworthy manner), shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, so that we are not condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another” (vv. 26–33).
It is therefore the Church’s position that this be observed with all gravity and in an orderly manner. No one should approach the Lord’s Table with unforgiven sin in one’s heart, and all should consecrate themselves in prayer before and upon every occasion of this observance. The Lord’s Supper consists of “the fruit of the vine” (unfermented grape juice, as is our practice), representing the blood of Christ, and unleavened bread, representing His broken body on the cross. The Church encourages the Lord’s Supper to be observed at least once a quarter, but to do so more often is certainly compatible with scriptural teaching: “They worshipped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved” (Acts 2:46, 47 NLT).Washing The Saints’ Feet
Feet Washing was instituted by Jesus on the night of the Last Supper and is considered by the Church a New Testament ordinance that we are enjoined to observe. As the Lord’s Supper represents our communion with Christ, Feet Washing represents our common unity (community) with each other as followers of Christ and partakers together with Him. Jesus sent two of His disciples to the home of a special friend in Jerusalem to prepare for the Passover meal (Mark 14:12–17). These preparations would have included a basin, water pitcher, and a towel for the customary washing of feet. According to verse 17 above, the 12 came with Jesus, but there is no mention of the washing of feet. Luke tells us there was anguish among the disciples as Jesus announced that one of them would betray Him and also that there was a quarrel between them as to who should be the greatest (Luke 22:21–24). Jesus taught them servant-hood as their right relationship (vv. 25–27) and demonstrated His posture as a Servant among them by washing their feet (John 13:3–5). In establishing this spirit of servant-hood among them, Jesus said, “ . . . Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. . . . If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (vv. 12–15, 17). The Church encourages that Feet Washing be observed in the same service as the Lord’s Supper whenever possible and in a decent and orderly manner.