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Tradition

A small country church in Wisconsin has a special tradition that they have used at the close of their communion services for a number of years. It is adapted from an ancient Jewish closing of the Passover meal. Since it is the hope of every devout Jew to celebrate the Passover at least once in David’s city, the Jewish custom is to end the meal with a toast. Passover participants raise the cup and say, “Next year, in Jerusalem!”

The cup in the Lord’s Supper serves as two reminders: we are to look back to the shed blood of Christ and forward to the Lord’s second coming. In other words, for all Christians, there will be a last sharing of the bread and the cup on this side of eternity: when they meet once again, they will be in Christ’s presence. At the close of communion, the members of this church raise their cups in anticipation and say, “Next time, with Christ!”

Today in the Word, May, 1996, p. 26