One of my favorite books on the topic of The Lord's Supper is Come to the Table by John Mark Hicks. The subtitle is "Revisioning the Lord's Supper." I like it because I agree with it--but it also helped me think through several troublesome issues. As mentioned yesterday, instead of a funeral-like atmosphere, we should have celebration around the Supper. "The church should revision the supper as a table rather than an altar." And "the church should revision the supper as a family event, including children." I have always thought that children should be invited to the table where they can grow spiritually--it is an opportunity for teaching them about God's love.
Hicks also said a table rather an altar mentality would solve the problem of who serves at the table. Who cares who passes food around a table? Those who do not believe that there women at the initiation of the Lord's Supper are sadly mistaken--who prepared the food? Who brought the food to the table? Who picked up the used dishes? Women of course. As someone has remarked The Lord's Supper is the only table around which we do not allow women to serve. An altar mentality carries with it the idea of authority and priesthood, etc.
A table does not.
Above all, Hicks says that the Lord's Supper must be a communal event transcending all cultural, ethnic and gender boundaries which is full of hope,grace and joy.
William Willamon's book Sunday Dinner says virtually the same thing. It ends with the plea of John 6: 34 "Lord give us this bread always." And that is the way I will end these sessions of thought.