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Communion Meditations (2019)

 

One Body

Originally scheduled for October 27

It is an often repeated truth that the church is “one body.” This is portrayed in communion; it is interesting to take a look at this in a little more detail.

Humility

You don’t normally think of humility being associated with the Lord’s Supper. But recall that the original occasion started with our Lord washing the feet of his disciples. It is an example to us of humility which is baked into the original Lord’s Supper. One example of this comes from the requirement for self-examination. We are told to examine ourselves before partaking of communion. If we find something which is not right, we are required to repent. Repentance often involves confession. This may require humility on the part of someone else; pride typically doesn’t want to get involved in repentance and confession.

·         Sometimes that’s a refusal to hear a confession — often because hearing such a confession would require you to forgive that person. Forgiveness is expensive to the one who is forgiving.

·         More often the problem is quite a bit simpler. Confession gives rise to gossip — and the confession is usually inflated to make the gossip juicier.

 

Choosing Sides

Communion forces a choice. As Paul told the Corinthians,

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

(1 Corinthians 10:21 NASB)

 

Perhaps this seems to you a problem only for the ancient Christian; after all, we haven’t had idols around for quite some time. But remember that when you take communion you proclaim the Lord’s death. In so doing you also proclaim his resurrection, and in proclaiming his resurrection you proclaim his grace for sinners (including you.) To take communion is to say that you are on the side of the angels.

You are to do this “until He comes.” When this comes out, it is clear that you are proclaiming to the world that you know who wins in the struggle between good and evil. You also proclaim that you are on the winning side.

 

Commitment to Help

Washing the feet of the disciples was not only a symbolic gesture of humility, but a very practical service to people of the time. No one had athletic shoes at that time; they wore leather sandals. In so doing, they got their feet dirty. Washing them was a practical service. If we are one body, should we not assist the other members of that body? We are, in a sense, helping ourselves when we do this.

Perhaps you think this is something of a trivial issue. But do remember our Lord’s parable of the good Samaritan. The priest and the Levite both had good reasons to go to the other side of the road and not touch that body that was wounded. Those were religious reasons. They could quote you chapter and verse as to why they had to move on. But we recognize an excuse as just that — an excuse.

Be one body. Be one body ceremonially, taking the same communion meal as your brothers and sisters do. Be one body intentionally, looking for the opportunity to help your fellow Christians. Be one body practically — don’t just wish them well, help them out. Be One Body.

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