“For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
I was a somewhat average rugby player in school, playing with more ambition than athleticism. I developed a reputation for tackling, largely because this does not require any special talent, only a modicum of courage and commitment. But there is one memory of my school-boy days as an “athlete” that stands out.
My dad was always there. Mind you, it wasn’t hard to spot a six-foot-four “Yank” in the stands. He was the one with the “American” movie camera! But he was always there, and his presence communicated something vital to his son.
Paul uses an impressive term for the seemingly mundane activity of eating the Lord’s Supper. He says that when we do so, we “proclaim” the Lord’s death until he comes. The word he uses is the usual word for “preaching.” The silent act of partaking speaks volumes.
When we partake, we proclaim a great deal about our commitments and our priorities. When our seat is empty, we proclaim a message, too. Is it the message we wanted to proclaim?
So why should you be in worship? Who do you help when you are present? You should be there because it encourages the preacher. He is (all too) human and is susceptible to discouragement at times. You should be there because it tells the visitors that honoring God, and hearing his word proclaimed is important. You should be there because it proclaims to our children that this is a lifetime priority, that we don’t grow out of coming to Sunday school. You should be there because the weak Christian who barely made it, who was considering giving up the battle, might see what you proclaimed and be back next time.
You need to be there because the Lord said he would be there, and you have an appointment to keep. “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20). The Lord of all the earth took time from his busy schedule, and proclaimed your worth by choosing to be there. He says he will be there for the sake of “two or three” precious human beings. Won’t you make it four?
Why should you be in worship?