Eating and Drinking Judgment
Scheduled for May 18
Cor 11:29 NIV) For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of
the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.
is a consistent principle in the Bible: by the standards you set for others,
you yourself will be judged. (See, for example, Romans 2; also verse 27 in
this chapter.) Sometimes we participate in Communion in a thoughtless way, not
giving any thought to the warning that Paul gives us here.
are two ways to proclaim your principles. The first is to live by them; the
second is to pronounce them (usually upon others). For reasons of space, I’ll
deal only with the first method, and leave the second to you.
of it this way: you come to church. Often, you dress in a particular way
(some of you cannot come to church, for example, without a coat and tie.) You
act, and mean to act, as if this “going to church” were important. By your
actions, then, you set a standard. If this standard applies to your clothing,
how much more to your worship life? You take Communion -- or at least you did
once -- with a solemn look, considering your life and its failings, asking the
Lord for forgiveness while you remembered the sacrifice which made forgiveness
possible. By these actions you proclaimed (to yourself and God, at least) that
Communion is solemn -- and important. It is a thing not to be taken lightly,
so say you.
cannot say I’ve seen too much frivolity at Communion. Drunkenness I have not
noticed (for which Paul chastised these Corinthians). Such disorder would be
socially unacceptable -- and this is a polite congregation. There is another
way, however, that Communion may be taken lightly.
can’t see it on the outside, for indeed this method depends on outer
appearances remaining the same. It is called “going through the motions.” You
bow your head; your lips move; you wait just the right time and with a humble
look you partake. You’re thinking about the cute girl two rows up; or about
the mound of work waiting back at the office, or maybe just where you plan to
go for lunch. Your mind is anywhere but where it should be: on Jesus Christ
and His sacrifice for you.
S. Lewis once wrote that the devil does his worst work in us not by what he
puts into our minds but by what he keeps out. Communion is not meant to be a
passive experience but an active reminder. The Bible describes it in action
verbs: “take,” “eat,” “do this.” Discipline your mind to God’s life in you.
Do this in remembrance of Him -- and reap forgiveness instead of judgment.