God’s Glory–In Communion

Pray:

Jesus, I could never come to fully appreciate what You have done for me. I stand in wonder of Your love.

 

Read: 1 CORINTHIANS 11:17-34

[17] In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. [18] In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. [19] No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.[20] So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, [21] for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. [22] Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter! [23] For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, [24] and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” [25] In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” [26]For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. [27] So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.[28] Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. [29] For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. [30] That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. [31] But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. [32]Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world. [33] So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. [34] Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.

 

Reflect: Are you honoring the reality of the Lord’s sacrifice?

What we have here is an early Christian love feast which quickly developed into what we can identify as a Communion service. Paul is deeply critical of the Corinthian Christians as they eat the Lord’s Supper (17-21). They met in the home of a wealthy Christian, which was probably not very large, so dining places were allocated on status grounds. Poorer members, uninvited to a meal, would arrive later and possibly hungry. Far from strengthening the community of believers, their celebration of Communion was divisive. It was certainly not an expression of generous hospitality. Yet the Passover celebration, the foundation of this meal, was always meant to have a unifying effect on the wider family (see also 2 Chron. 30; 1 Cor. 10:16,17).

Even Jesus’ Passover celebration at his last supper had included a betrayer, as Paul reminds them (23). Right from the beginning, the motivation of participants in a Communion service was mixed and deceptive. No wonder Paul vigorously reminds them that God’s judgment is not to be taken lightly (29-32).

 

Apply:

Ask God to give you fresh insights into how you participate in a Communion service.

 

Pray:

All that is in me, bless the Lord. You alone, Lord, are worthy of honor and praise.

Syndicated via Scripture Union

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