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Friday, September 25, 2009

Lord's Supper abberations

The pulpit of Emmanuel OPC of Wilmington, Delaware, was mine many years ago. I have had the joy of guest preaching in recent years, and one of the great blessings is to see just how many of the old families are still in the church. It is not a commuter congregation. It has even been several years now that EOPC celebrated it's 100th anniversary. John Clelland was pastor when they voted to leave the liberal Presbyterian Church. He served so well, and his amazing wife organized a Vacation Bible School like no other I've experienced. Bob Eckardt followed Mr. Clelland, and I was privileged to follow Bob. The great organization of the Christian Education Committee, and the Bible School subcommittee was still in place when we were there.

In recent years Emmanuel had a published author as its pastor, Dr. Robert Letham. He wrote (among others) a good book about the Lord's Supper. Our session studied the book together. When we were in the east for Dad Piper's 100th birthday, we visited with our friends in Wilmington. I had the privilege of supplying the pulpit because the pastor was out of town. The Lord's Supper is celebrated every week in Emmanuel now, and this particular time it was scheduled for the evening service.

At the point in the service where the minister leads in prayer for God's help in receiving the elements appropriately I was aware of some sort of commotion. I opened my eyes in time to see one of the elders intercept a woman who was carrying the vessel of wine out the aisle. He returned the pitcher to the table, and the service continued. Later we discovered that one of the rooms is used by Alcoholics Anonymous members for a meeting on Sunday evenings. But the AA group said this woman was not a part of their constituency. We also discovered that she was present before the service began, watching those who were preparing the elements for the service. Also the wine bottle, drained of it leftovers, was found in the bushes outside the church.

I thought it would be interesting, and perhaps instructive, to administer the Lord's Supper in the congregation of the man who "wrote the book" on the subject. I must, with embarrassment, admit that for a brief millisecond when I opened my eyes I wondered just what part Dr. Letham had provided this woman to take in the service.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Keller I was at this service and tell this story all the time hahaha I do remember you being there too! Let me know when you'll be on the east coast again and I will try to be home for it so our I can see you both! ---Ryan Hayes