The flow of worship at the church I pastor follows a pattern by which we rehearse the gospel message. We are confronted with God, we confess our sin, we receive his grace, and we celebrate our new and renewed lives. Week after week we do this.
And this worship is not meant to be passive. We invite participation in a number of ways – through song and corporate prayers and creeds. This participation reaches a climax at the end of the service where we are invited to ‘participate’ in the Lord’s Supper.
As important as all the other elements of worship are, they all nevertheless lead us to this final act of participation. The rest of worship presents Christ to us. At the table, we take him by an act of faith to ourselves. The rest of worship exposes what a life of faith looks like. At the table, we take hold of the One who can enable us to live that life. And at times, the rest of worship exposes our sin. At the table, we have the opportunity to repent of our false saviors and take hold of the True.
So, in a sense, all of worship prepares us to respond to Jesus at the table. As we worship this morning, listen, sing, pray, and attend to all with the knowledge that you will, at the end, join in communion with the one who makes it all real.