Question:

I work shift days and nights. I go home on Sunday morning, sleep, and then get up and go to church on Sunday night to take the Lord's Supper. I hope this is good in God's eyes.

Answer:

This particular question has been the subject of intense discussion. Up until the time of World War II, most congregations only held one service on Sunday. Because of the war effort, many people found themselves forced to work odd shifts, even on Sunday. To accommodate the need, congregations shifted to holding two services on Sunday, one in the morning and the other in the evening.

Justification for having the Lord's Supper during the evening service was found by noting that under the Old Covenant, God allowed the Israelites who were unable partake of the yearly Passover because they happened to be unclean at the critical time to partake of a second Passover one month later (Numbers 9:10-11). It is argued that when someone is hindered from partaking of the Lord's Supper by something out of their control, such as illness or work requirements, that this same allowance should be granted.

Unfortunately there are a few holes in their logic. One is the fact that Israel didn't create the second Passover and God went along with their innovation. The people were concerned about missing the Passover and brought their concern to God. It is God who gave them a second Passover by His command. No equivalent command is found in the New Testament. Second, the justification is based entirely on the Old Testament. We live under the New Testament. While the Old Testament gives us insight into how God dealt with matters, its laws are not our laws directly. Third, the problem the Israelite was dealing with was a once a year feast. The Lord's Supper is a weekly memorial.

On the other side, people note the emphasis in the New Testament that the Lord's Supper is a time for the whole church to come together to share in a common meal (I Corinthians 10:16-17). The Corinthians were scolded because they did not partake of the Lord's Supper jointly (I Corinthians 11:20-22). While it is acknowledged that opportunities to partake may be missed because of work or illness, it is argued that the Lord will understand so long as the person does his best to partake with the congregation as often as he can. Of course, here again an assumption is being made about what God will or will not accept.

From my own studies, I'm inclined to say that the Lord's Supper is meant to be taken once a week by the congregation. However, I also can see that my conclusion might be wrong. So personally, I only partake at the main service (Romans 14:22-23). Yet, at the same time I will not condemn a brother who believes he should be able to partake at a second service. Here in La Vista we have a mixture of both. Those who believe it is acceptable to have a second offering of the Lord's Supper handle the matter for those who want to partake. Those who believe it should be offered only once simply don't participate in that portion of the service. Thus, we are able to worship and work together (Romans 14:1,4).