Encouraging All to Attend the Lord’s Evening Meal
1 The celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal is a most important occasion. It is not just another yearly meeting, nor merely a memorial of an event. Jesus said: “Keep doing this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24) It is a calling to mind of Jesus Christ as a person. It concerns what he did and what he is now. It is a recognition that he is alive and active today, in the kingship and glory that resulted from his faithful course and sacrifice. As its Head he is directing the affairs and activities of the Christian congregation. We are concerned with Jesus’ sacrifice and his position in God’s purpose—how these things affect us. The Lord’s Evening Meal provides opportunity to consider where we stand in Jehovah’s arrangement.
2 God is highly concerned that all his Christian witnesses respect the occasion and be on hand for this observance. This fact impresses us, particularly the shepherds in the congregation, with the urgency of seeing that all who associate with the congregation be encouraged and helped to attend.
3 To this end it would be good for the elders to arrange for the brothers to reach all persons in the congregation’s territory who are known to have some interest, or who have attended in the past. For the most part these would be persons known to the various publishers. Each book study group could survey the matter in their area and see that these persons are called on. In addition, the Watchtower subscribers could be given a special invitation.
4 What can be said to appeal to interested persons, aside from offering the printed invitations? For one thing, they may have never been inside a Kingdom Hall. Also they may not understand why they should be there, particularly if they are not members of a congregation Jehovah’s witnesses. And interested ones may not see the full reason why those not having heavenly hopes should be there.
5 Therefore it may be helpful to mention to some that they will not be expected to participate in any formalism or ritual. There is no emotional display. The Kingdom Hall serves Bible educational purposes and is accordingly not decorated with images, crosses, altars, candles, and so forth. Explain that the Memorial of his death is the only celebration commanded by Christ. It is the only day for special observance. For this reason all who believe in worship of God should be concerned.
6 But the important thing is, Why this command? And what does the Memorial signify? Why should we want to attend? Because it has to do with our very lives. It has to do with our hope of world peace and of life in happiness in such a world. Regardless of who we are, Christ is our Purchaser and Owner by reason of his ransom sacrifice. He is our Judge. (John 5:21, 22) He is no longer a mere human, but a mighty spirit person, Lord and King, and his government is going to have complete charge of the earth in the very near future. We are certainly concerned about the government that rules us. Where are we going to stand in the sight of our Owner, Judge and King?
7 The benefits of Christ’s sacrifice will soon be applied in actually healing the diseases of all obedient persons. So all persons who believe in God should attend to get a better, deeper understanding and to know how we can receive his sacrificial benefits. In the annual observance of this occasion by Jehovah’s witnesses on the evening of April 17 this year, a speaker will explain the meaning of the Lord’s Evening Meal and its significance in our lives today. The Bible account at Luke 22:19, 20 is followed closely in use of the bread and wine—a simple but meaningful ceremony.
8 Out of love for God and his son we will attend the Lord’s Evening Meal, and out of love for others we will aid those who may not realize it’s importance.
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Help others to be praisers of Jehovah.