Catch up on how things have been over the past week (over drinks and snacks if possible). Then ask group members:
This term, we’re exploring some of the meals Jesus shared. Not only is this helping us get to know Jesus better, but we’re seeing how the way he shared meals has loads of implications for how we experience student life today.
Ask for a volunteer to read Luke 22:7-22 to the group, praying a short prayer that, however much they’ve come to know Jesus, they’d know him better as a result of your time together.
If you’re not gathered in person, the leader should project the video for the group through sharing their screen. If you’re using Zoom, make sure you have optimized your screen share for video. You can download the video to watch offline.
Suggested questions to help your discussion.
The meal that Jesus inaugurates is known by different names – including the ‘Lord’s Supper’, communion and the ‘Eucharist’ (taken from the Greek word for ‘gratitude’).
The meal is rich in symbolism. At once, Jesus connects this meal to the historical events of the exodus, his death in a few hours’ time and the future hope of the new creation. Jesus also identifies the bread and wine as somehow not just representing but mysteriously presenting his body and blood to us today. To all this, the Apostle Paul adds a further theme: communion is also an act of unity. As we each share in the same bread and wine, we remind ourselves of our common hope in Jesus (1 Corinthians 11:27-32).
Clearly, Jesus’ plan was that the Lord’s Supper should stand at the centre of the church’s worship. It is a tangible sign of his presence, a means of relating (‘communion’) with him, and a re-enactment of our freedom from slavery through his death and resurrection. In this, the Lord’s Supper dramatizes our common union with Christ in a way that mere words cannot.
Jesus instructs his followers to eat bread and drink wine in remembrance of him. Does this mean we should share the Lord’s Supper in our CUs?
Probably not. After all, we don’t do everything Jesus commanded in CUs. CUs have a limited, specific, missional focus for making Jesus known among students. There are many things that Jesus commands that make sense to be done in a local church under the oversight of recognised church leaders. Baptism and sharing the Lord’s Supper are just two examples; caring for orphans and providing for the poor would be others.
There might also be different opinions in your CU about exactly what is going on when we share the Lord’s Supper and we want to be sensitive to that.
Rather than celebrating the Lord’s Supper as an Impact Group, help your group members get excited about when the time next comes to celebrate it in their local church setting.
Jesus could have chosen any means as a way of remembering him. But he specifically chooses this meal. Throughout history, the church has followed Jesus’ instructions: the Last Supper is one of the most commonly depicted episodes of Jesus life, often portrayed in paintings and stained glass windows.
We’ve seen that Jesus deliberately makes his death the focal point of his ministry.
The Lord’s Supper reminds us that God’s primary means of engaging the world with his love is through his people, gathered into local churches. CUs comprise of students from a range of local churches, united together in the gospel.
Feedback on how you got with last week’s activity, then choose another to undertake together this week (ideally a different category to whatever you did last time).
Get nourished: for group bonding
Get together on Sunday afternoon, before or after church. You could share food together, and include a time praying for one another’s churches.
Offer a taste: to do together
Up to one-third of students say they’d try church if they were personally invited (probably even more at Christmastime!). Talk together about how you could extend this invite as widely as possible.
Add spice: a personal challenge
If the Lord’s Supper is a time for Jesus’ followers to come together, is there a student at church who’s not been for a while? Could you check in on them / volunteer to go along with them on Sunday?
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