Originally scheduled for June 18
Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood
of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of
Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for
we all partake of the one bread.
(1 Corinthians 10:16-17 NASB)
Paul (and his readers) had no concept of bacteria, or hygiene
as we know it. When the Lord's Supper was celebrated, a common
communion cup was used. Every person in the church drank from
the same cup of wine. Each of them could see his own
participation in the common cup; the only leap of faith
required was to see it as Christ's blood. Similarly, one loaf
of bread was used, being parceled out to the whole congregation.
Again, it was relatively easy to see the body of Christ in this.
So you can imagine the fuss that would be made if someone who was
not a Christian participated in the same cup and loaf. It
would be a sacrilege, because the non-believer was not part of the
body of Christ (that is, the church). How much greater, then,
would be the sense of horror if a Christian went out and
participated in a similar feast at an idol's temple!
extract something from this. The cup and the loaf we use each
Sunday is more than a memorial to the sacrifice of Christ. They are
elements which bind the church together. Each such memorial is
a "participation" (as Paul has it here) in Christ. In a deep,
symbolic sense, we eat the same meal and therefore we become the
same body—the body of Christ, the church.
So then, when you take
the communion offered each Sunday, should you not know the horror of
taking this participation lightly? We are specifically warned
about it. It is because this ceremonial meal is the one that
binds us together that we must take it with all seriousness,
confession and repentance. Do not take lightly that which was
bought at the Cross by the body and blood of Christ.
(Largely borrowed from one of the devotionals)