1 Corinthians 11:17-34; 2 Kings 5; Obadiah 1
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11:26-27 NKJV)
The Corinthian Church was a total mess. We’ve seen a number of issues in the church already, and now we discover that they couldn’t/wouldn’t even do the Lord’s Supper right. An observance that should have been a unifying moment became a source of division. Rather than a solemn occasion of remembrance, it had become an afterthought amidst the revelry of their fellowship suppers. Those who had means would gather early for the potluck supper, eat up all the food, and then when the poor working stiffs showed up, they’d do some kind of ceremony to sort of include them that they called the Lord’s Supper. If there was any food left from the potluck, the working people would get to eat. Paul reminded the church that when they observed the Lord’s Supper, it had special meaning and it shouldn’t be an afterthought or done with a wrong heart or a wrong attitude.
Fortunately, the Church today doesn’t have those divisions. Hmmm… Maybe I’d better rethink that statement. Sadly, our denominations have split with one of the reasons being our view of the Lord’s Supper. In trying to take the text of Paul’s words seriously, we’ve lost the meaning of building unity. So, let’s not look at how the different denominations define the observance of the Lord’s Supper, let’s look at how we drink the Lord’s cup and eat the bread when we do observe the Lord’s Supper in our churches. Is the observance an afterthought to the rest of the service? Most churches don’t observe the Lord’s Supper after a fellowship meal – at least on a regular basis – so we don’t have that part of the problem, but for many of our churches, the Lord’s Supper is an afterthought in the service. As members of such a congregation, the Lord’s Supper becomes something we do because it’s time. It’s time to get radical. The Lord’s Supper is a statement of faith, if Paul’s words are taken to heart. It is a proclamation that Jesus died on the cross for all people. It’s a testimony to the belief that Jesus will return. Because of that, we need to eat the bread and drink the cup in a worthy manner. We need to recognize the dignity and worth of all people that Jesus died for. We need to partake with the certain hope that God will make all things right when Jesus returns. Let your life show that you believe and are grateful for Jesus’s death every day and that you have hope for the future because God’s in control.
Lord, keep my heart right with You. Let my life reflect Your forgiveness that You gave me at the cross. May I live with the hope and expectation that You will return and that You will set all things right.