Originally scheduled for November 25
problem is not one which is going to go away after a single
communion meditation. The truth is the church has had a problem with
unity for many hundreds, if not thousands of years. Our divisions
are most evident.
We have divisions of politics. There
are denominations in the United States which split over the American
Civil War and have yet to reunite. There are other splits in the
church that are nationalistic in character. It seems we have to have
one little denomination for each little division in politics,
established once and maintained forever.
We have divisions of social status.
The author of this meditation does not know where your particular
congregation might stand on this, but his congregation considers it
disgraceful to visit those in prison, other than those imprisoned
for their faith. Are Christians in prison part of the church?
There are any number of schisms in
Christendom. We may content ourselves with identifying the three
largest: Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox.
It seems we have a sufficient number of things
to divide us. Against these we must place Christ’s prayer that we
may all be one, as He and the Father are one.
How is it, then, that we can be one? The first
answer comes in that we have one foundation — Jesus Christ, our Lord
and Savior, by virtue of his atonement at Calvary. One Lord, one
faith, one birth.
Beyond that, we also hold to one Scripture. The
various denominations interpret it in various ways, but you will
notice that anyone who considers himself a real Christian
acknowledges the Bible as the source of knowledge concerning Christ.
If you add to it or take away from it, you do so at your peril.
Our unity extends over all these things because
God is one. One Lord, one God the Father and one Holy Spirit. This
is what produces one body, the church. We have many members; each of
those members has a different function. But those members are part
of one body, and therefore are to unite in love for each other.
Communion is the symbol of the unity of the
church. Paul tells us that we have one bread, which means therefore
we have one body. We don’t separate Christians into wheat, rye, and
sourdough. There is one body because there is one bread. There is
also only one cup, which represents the blood of Christ, our Savior
and Lord. You cannot take a bottle of grape juice or wine and put
the good half in one communion tray and the bad half in the other.
One body, one blood.
seems so simple — and it is. Christ made it simple so that we might
understand it clearly and be united. We are to be one as he and the
Father are one. Therefore, if there is anything in your life which
works against the unity of the body of Christ, I urge you to repent
of it and make amends as quickly as you can. Let a man examine
himself before communion, and change his ways thereafter.