Your Invitation to the Lord’s Evening Meal
YES, the Christian witnesses of Jehovah throughout the earth invite you to attend their celebration of the Lord’s evening meal.
But you may ask, What kind of meal is it? When and where will it be served? What is its purpose, and why should I want to be present?
The Lord’s evening meal is also known as the memorial of Christ’s death and, more commonly, as the Lord’s Supper. The manner of its celebration is recorded for; us in the Bible at 1 Corinthians 11:23-25: “The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took the bread, gave thanks to God, broke it, and said, ‘This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.’ In the same way, he took the cup after the supper and said, ‘This cup is God’s new covenant, sealed with my blood. Whenever you drink it, do it in memory of me.’”—Today’s English Version.
Where will this meal take place? At the local Kingdom Halls of Jehovah’s witnesses. When? Jesus instituted it on Nisan 14, according to the Biblical calendar. It was right after he and his apostles had celebrated the annual passover commemorating the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage. (Matt. 26:2, 17-20) So once each year on Nisan 14 the Christian witnesses of Jehovah meet in obedience to Jesus’ command. This year the date, on the Gregorian calendar, is March 22 after sundown.
What is the purpose of this evening meal? It has the same purpose as any memorial. And that is to keep from forgetting an important event. And what event does the Lord’s evening meal commemorate? On Nisan 14, 33 C.E., Jesus Christ as “the Lamb of God” died to ‘take away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29) Certainly no more important event for humankind has taken place than the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. By means of it all men exercising faith can become free from sin and death and gain everlasting life.—John 3:16.
The Lord’s evening meal serves a special purpose for those anointed footstep followers of Jesus Christ with whom he has made a covenant for a heavenly kingdom. (Luke 22:28-30) By partaking of the unleavened bread and fermented red wine they indicate their oneness with their Head and their determination to continue faithful. As the apostle Paul noted: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of the Christ? The loaf which we break, is it not a sharing in the body of the Christ?”—1 Cor. 10:16.
Although the Lord’s evening meal was originally instituted for the benefit of these who partake of the bread and wine and who are known as a “little flock,” today they are by no means the only ones welcome. (Luke 12:32) In fact, last year more than 2,700,000 attended in the more than 25,600 congregations that met world wide to celebrate the Lord’s evening meal. However, less than 10,400 of all of these attenders professed to be of the “little flock” with heavenly hopes and indicated this by partaking of the bread and wine.
Christian witnesses of Jehovah who do not profess to be of the “little flock” look forward, not to life in the heavenly kingdom, but to everlasting life on a paradisaic earth when God’s will is done on earth even as it is in heaven. (Matt. 6:10; Rev. 21:4) They are described by Jesus as his “other sheep,” who today comprise a “great crowd” out of all nations. These attend the Lord’s evening meal as observers because of their appreciation of what Jehovah and Jesus Christ have done for them.—John 10:16; Rev. 7:9-17.
But Jehovah’s witnesses, with either heavenly or earthly prospects, are not the only ones welcome to this memorial of Christ’s death. In fact, with about 1,300,000 active Witnesses world wide and a memorial attendance last year of over 2,700,000, it can be seen that there were more visitors present than Witnesses themselves! All lovers of truth and righteousness are welcome as well as all who are “conscious of their spiritual need.”—Matt. 5:3.
Why should you want to attend? How do you stand to benefit? The very fact that Jesus Christ commanded that his followers come together to observe this memorial of his death should make you want to attend. There will be heartfelt singing of beautiful Christian songs especially appropriate to the occasion. There will also be a series of earnest and thankful prayers by mature Christians. And there will be featured an enlightening discourse on the meaning of the Lord’s evening meal. It will trace the faithful course that Jesus took while on earth: being obedient even to the shameful and painful death on the torture stake. For this reason his Heavenly Father resurrected and highly exalted him, so that now he is in position to administer the benefits of his sacrifice to all humankind.—Phil. 2:5-11.
Since this will be such a joyful and meaningful occasion, you are bound to benefit from attending it. You will grow in your understanding and appreciation of the goodness and love of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ. And doubtless you will get a clearer picture than you ever had before of just what it means to be a real Christian, a genuine follower of Jesus Christ.—1 Pet. 2:21.
So please consider this as your personal invitation to attend the Lord’s evening meal with the Christian witnesses of Jehovah at one of their Kingdom Halls. You will be in the company of a large group of friendly Christians who will extend to you a warm welcome. As a visitor you will not be asked to say anything during the meeting, nor will you have a collection plate passed in front of you. Jehovah’s Christian witnesses heed Jesus’ words: “You received free, give free,” and have learned to appreciate that “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” If you do not know the location of the Kingdom Hall nearest you, ask any witness of Jehovah you may happen to know or write to the publishers of The Watchtower. (See inside cover for the address.)—Matt. 10:8; Acts 20:35.