THE LORD’S TABLE MEETING REPLACING
THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER
The Lord’s table meeting is a replacement of the Feast of the Passover. Actually, when the Lord set up His table, He and His disciples were attending the Passover feast. According to the custom of the Jewish Passover, they surely partook of the bread and the wine. Thus, the table meeting set up by the Lord was somewhat transitory. The Lord and the disciples first ate the passover (Matt. 26:20-25; Luke 22:14-18). Then the Lord established His table with the bread and the cup (Matt. 26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26) to replace the Feast of the Passover because He was going to fulfill the type and be the real Passover to us (1 Cor. 5:7). Luke 22 shows us that there were two kinds of eating and drinking. One was a part of the Passover (vv. 15-18). The other was a part of the Lord’s table (vv. 19-20). Today we are at the Lord’s table without any kind of transitory element.
PRAISING THE LORD WITH THE HYMNS
At the Lord’s table we should not pray by asking the Lord to do things for us, but we surely need to praise. To praise requires much exercise of the spirit. We need to learn how to praise the Lord after we sing a hymn. We may merely shout, declare, and quote things from the hymnal in a mechanical way. But if the saints are richer and stronger, they will not need to merely quote the hymnal. They will praise the Lord with the thought of the hymn, recomposing some of the terms and phrases. We need to learn how to digest a hymn in our praise. This kind of digestion of a hymn is more living and informal.
In the Lord’s table meeting, there needs to be more praise. Instead of praising, the saints may merely read from the hymnal. They must learn to go beyond merely reading a hymn to digesting a hymn. Instead of merely reading, "Oh, what a joy! Oh, what a rest!" (Hymns, #499), we can say, "O Lord, in Your life we enjoy the rest. What a rest we enjoy!" We can digest the terms in a hymn and make them a living praise to the Lord.
THE LORD’S TABLE IN ANCIENT TIMES
In the ancient times the believers had a custom of coming together for supper, the main meal of the day, with the rich bringing more and better food for the mutual enjoyment and the poor, less food (1 Cor. 11:21-22). This was called a love feast (2 Pet. 2:13; Jude 12), and it came from the background of the Passover feast (Luke 22:13-20). At the end of their love feast they ate the Lord’s supper with the bread and the cup to remember the Lord (1 Cor. 11:23-25). This is the best way to have the Lord’s table.
THE CRUCIAL POINT IN OUR SERVICE
We need to be deeply impressed that the crucial point in our service to the Lord is life. Life is the Spirit, and the Spirit is the reality of the living Christ. If we help the saints get on the track of life, all the details of our practice will be spontaneously regulated by life. We need some regulation and regulation helps. But we need to be careful. We are not for a certain regulated situation. A situation that is fully regulated can become like Forest Lawn Cemetery, a situation of death. Brother Nee took the lead to practice the truth with life. We must make it clear to the saints that we are not for the regulations but for life. If the saints grow in life adequately, spontaneously they will be regulated.
(Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)