The service opens with prayer, (00:00-02:17) choral singing, (02:18-05:19) and responsive reading, Selection 84 (05:20-07:20). There is no introduction for William Claudius Strickland, but he was Professor of New Testament Interpretation. The Lord’s Supper is meditated upon, considering not only its practical implications but also its Scriptural meaning. Strickland walks through the passage from the texts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Strickland identifies three central insights from this passage (07:21-16:40). Firstly, the Lord’s Supper has to do with our present moment in genuine, living table fellowship. This was Paul’s emphasis in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 (16:41-20:10). Secondly, the Lord’s Supper concerns our future, being celebrated with great joy and not becoming a social club (20:11-21:57). Thirdly, the Lord’s Supper concerns our past, which is the point we usually stress while missing its focus. Focusing on Christ’s death for our sins will result in a present assurance of hope and joy which the congregation will know without question is something that can only come from God (21:58-26:58). Strickland closes the service with prayer and the singing of one stanza of hymn 366 (26:59-27:59).
Dr. William H. Willimon was Minister to the University and Professor of the Practice of the Christian Ministry at Duke University in Durham, NC. This message focuses on the symbolism and implications of meals in Judeo-Christian tradition, especially the Last Supper from Luke 22, the resulting Christian tradition of the Lord's Supper, as well as the people seated at the table for meals with Jesus, both in earthly ministry and in heaven.