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.
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
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.
Communion forces a choice. As Paul told the
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.