So far on this journey we have seen things that are similar with many more differences in the conduct of the Body of Christ between the very early community and today’s church. The thanksgiving prayer for after the Lord’s Supper goes a little deeper than some of the prayers today.
The Eucharist was actually the part of the full meal shared by the community at gatherings. Before the Remembrance was delivered, there was a time for fellowship, forgiving and making things right in the eyes of the community and the presence of God. The Remembrance was encircled by the singing of songs, persistent prayer, and other forms of worship. Once the meal and Remembrance was conducted was a prayer which we see here:
After the Eucharist when you are filled, give thanks this way: We thank you, holy Father, for your holy name which you enshrined in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality that you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever. You, Master Almighty, have created all things for your name’s sake. You gave food and drink to all people for enjoyment that they might give thanks to you; but to us you freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Jesus, your servant. Before all things we thank you because you are mighty. To you be the glory forever. Remember, Lord, your church. Deliver it from all evil and make it perfect in your love, and gather it from the four winds sanctified for your kingdom which you have prepared for it. For Yours is the power and the glory forever. Let grace come, and let this world pass away! Hosanna to the Son of David! If anyone is holy, let him come; if anyone is not holy, let him repent. Maranatha! Amen. [But permit the prophets to make thanksgiving as much as they desire.]
The very first thing of value here is that they understood the proper order to whom ALL worship belongs. It is the Father’s name which is greater. We have songs today that gift Jesus more worship and glory and we know that Jesus said to do things in His name that go to the Father but Jesus never asked to be worshiped. God’s Name is the Only name to which all worship should be directed. Yes all things to God should be directed through Jesus because He commanded it but not solely worshiping Jesus as some churches do today.
This particular Prayer of Thanksgiving is a great example of how they used the model of the Lord’s Prayer. The prayer first praises God and recognize Him as the creator and giver of life. This is followed by thanking for the provisions both physical and spiritual. Then there is the request for forgiveness and deliverance from all evils. Then it ends with the recognition once again of who is truly in charge and a request for the future kingdom, there is also the addition of recognition of Jesus as the Messiah. They used the model prayer nearly perfect.
So what do we do to remedy the mistakes of ages past and stop the confusion of the sacrificial meal itself. Is it a Remembrance? Does the bread and wine truly transform into Jesus? Is it just done in Memorial? We should understand that some of those things were transferred in by pagan beliefs. Jesus Himself said to do this in Remembrance of me. We remember the fact that He is the spotless Lamb, the Word made Flesh for our understanding. He came to correct the humanness of God’s Word and to bring all people one step closer to the Father. The sacrifice of His Body was to pour out the purest, clean blood that cleansed the earth of the sins of man and made it God’s again.
The Devil is on His last ditch effort to remove us from His presence once again. Only God can stop him but we are His instruments in Faith and Trust of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We must continue to fight the good fight daily. Knowing the truths found in Scripture and understanding how the Word was spread throughout the land will only strengthen us. We must purify ourselves of the traditions and temptations of man and fully focus on God. That will defeat Satan once and for all.