Agape Love Meal
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

Agape Love Meal
Page 72

Lord's Supper

Justin MartyrIn the Early Church, Holy Communion with the elements of bread and wine had its beginning as part of an "agape" or an "agape feast" which was basically a meal followed immediately by Communion in a Household of Faith. Christian family, friends and relatives gathered to eat the meal together, then at the end to celebrate the Lord's Supper later called "The Eucharist" meaning "thanksgiving."

Meal Plus Communion

The Lords SupperIn the very early Christian document "The Didache" which was also called "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" in chapter fourteen the words, "And after you have had your fill, give thanks thus," were thought to have been the introduction to the Holy Communion part of the fellowship meeting after the feast was finished. In another place, the writer of the Didache, which could be either a first or a second century AD document urged, "On the Lord's day, come together, break bread, and give thanks." The Lord's Day here indicated Sunday being commemorated in the Early Church as the day of the Resurrection of Jesus. Though this seemed to be the norm, there were and still are some groups of Christians who chose to continue their worship on the 7th day after the example of the Jews.✞

No Agape Survival

CommunionIn Justin Martyr's second century account there was no survival at all of the agape. By this time, the sacrament had been separated from eating and drinking at a meal to avoid abuses that had arisen between the "haves" and the "have nots." In Paul's writings, we found that there was already a problem in combining an agape feast with the Eucharist.

Hungry and Feasted

Church FamilyPaul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11.20-21, "When you come together, it is not really the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk." To restore order to the sacrament, the feast portion was phased out. If Holy Communion had not broken away from the agape love meal, the Christian community around the world might still be a series of small households of faith rather than the institutional churches we have today. There's a thought!✞

"Agape Love Meal"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

^Top Page Next Previous