Wednesday Word 10.04.2017
1 Corinthians 11:23-30 New International Version
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.
Paul is speaking to the congregation at Corinth regarding their practices and the state of affairs in the group. He could just have easily been talking to Christians in 2017. These last few lines strike me with an especially deep meaning.
Not only is Paul reinforcing the magnitude of Jesus words to his disciples on their last night together, he is reinforcing what our part in this ritual must be. If we step back and look from a broader perspective, these words may resonate in a whole different way. Jesus establishes the covenant of the bread and the juice to be entered into with joy and gratitude and a clear acknowledgement of just how badly we need that salvation (confession). The Gospels tell us how we are to conduct our lives at all times. The Gospels set down how Jesus wanted us to live all the time, not just with regard to the ritual of Communion. If we are working on the aspects of our behavior and the choices we make bearing the teachings of Jesus in mind, we can see subtle changes in our life. We can feel the Holy Spirit nudging us onward. But, what if we only give Jesus a passing thought now and then? What if the lessons he tried to impart to us go unread and not implemented? What if we are walking through life all on our own?
I can only speak for myself. There was a time when I felt weak. I was weak. In many ways I still am. I was heartsick and felt so inadequate. I knew I had let God down. I tried not to think about Jesus. I was spiritually asleep. A series of small events drew me back to the church; I had no idea why. Now I know, it is where I belong. I am still weak and inadequate in so many ways, but I came to realize that I am not now, nor ever have been, alone. Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). The covenant poured out for us and for the forgiveness of sins isn’t only when we are standing in that Communion line. It is for always. In response, we must work every day at living the Kingdom life our Savior wants for us right now. Let’s work on that Kingdom life together…something to pray about.
Your sister in Christ, Vicki