The “Supper”


Bob Thompson


            It was in the Spring of ’42, during WW2.  I was getting in my car one Sunday morning to partake of the “Supper” at the so-called Church of the Open Door” on the corner of Sixth and Hope Street in downtown L.A., when I spotted this note on the front seat.

            I recognized the handwriting of my roommate, Harold Hagerman, brother of Lawrence Hagerman, inventor-engineer. Harold was one of those serious, no-nonsense Christians, my age. We had been discussing the subject of physical ordinances for some time when the Lord brought us in touch with a brother named Buman Price who was working at the same defence as I was in.

             Buman, also my age, who never minced words about anything that I can remember, lost no time in bluntly infoming the two of us that taking the Lord’s Supper was an act of idolatry.  I’m sure you’ve already guessed it, I was shocked and offended.  Who did this guy think he was tossing off an inflammatory remark like that?  Wasn’t the supper practiced by 99.9% of Christendom, from the giants of theology on down to the youngest, most untaught Christian in America?  And here was this half-Indian hydralic inspector at Vultee Aircraft telling the rest of us that this sacred memorial to Christ’s death and glorious resurrection was an act of idolatry.  Well, it was time to set the record straight. 

             To my painful embarrassment, I soon discovered that my arguments (based on soulishness, not hard, Biblical facts) were about as effective as a soldier taking careful aim at the on-coming enemy, pulling the trigger, and a bullet the size of a pin-head drops out of the barrel. 

              But I got over it and soon became a respectful listener (like Harold) while Buman became our spiritual mentor – that is, until we three were drafted into the military and forced to go our separate ways – until after the war.

            What was on the note that was left in my car by Harold?  It was merely a verse of Scripture, but you could tell that it had been veeerrry carefully chosen. It read, “IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT QUICKENETH, THE FLESH PROFITETH NOTHING; THE WORDS THAT I SPEAK UNTO YOU, THEY ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE.”  John 6:63.  I read it slowly, thoughtfully, then read it again, and then pondered it all the way to L.A. 

         By the time I parked my car and found a seat in the building, I had dropped anchor.  While a sip of grape juice and a piece of salteen cracker was being ingested by the auditorium of 3500 people, I passed up the physical for the spiritual.  Instead of taking the supper that morning, I read my Bible and fed on the living Bread.

 (By the way, why do people call it “supper” when it is being taken in the morning?  Why not call it breakfast and be done with it?)

         For my closing remark, allow me share this with you: though I had been saved since 1931, I had never experienced anything like this! The Lord gave me a spiritual blessing that morning that has lasted 62 years.  In brief, it was my personal deliverance from the slavish bondage” of tradition. (Col. 2:8). I look back today and praise God for this unforgettable escape from the darkness of *organized religion.  I never went back to the so-called “Open Door.” 

 (P.S.  I’ll always be grateful to Buman, and his wife, Martha, for introducing me to a young lady named Sylvia Stevens, who later became my wife one year before I was honorably discharged from Service.)

*Organized religion separates Christians, while yoking saved and un-saved together in unholy fellowship.

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