Sunday, July 29, 2007

Communion Mediation-Head and Body

Lately, we have been talking a great deal about being in fellowship with the saints, serving them, loving them. It is what we emphasize repeatedly here at the Lord’s Table, Communion, the Eucharistic meal. We are to be in fellowship with God and with His people. The one loaf signifies not only the broken body of Jesus, broken for us, but also the body of Jesus shared communally with all of us. Our unity in Jesus is a reality. Jesus is the one loaf but we also are the one loaf. He is the head of the body, the church, but we are the body of Christ, the church. The one loaf represents Christ, head and body.

Now, something is powerfully wrong when there are divisions and strife in the body of Christ. What is supposed to be a unified body becomes a divided body. This is what was happening in Corinth when the apostle Paul warned that some of them were sick and even had died because of how they partook of the Lord’s Supper.

The supper is a wonderful gift to the church, a place and an action wherein we receive the thing signified in the sign. We receive Jesus as we eat and drink together. How shameful is it when we parcel Him out, only wanting certain portions of the body of Christ, receiving some and not others, maintaining bitterness, withholding forgiveness, thinking of oneself above others. These are the kinds of sins, the not discerning the Lord’s Body, that was a great problem in the Corinthian Church. They did not recognize that the gathered saints were the earthly manifestation of Christ with us. This is a very great sin and one that we ought not to make.

So, it is fitting that we look around, that we see who is here, that we rejoice with them for partaking in Jesus. It is good for us to let all pretenses go at this meal, to humble ourselves before the Lord as unworthy in ourselves to even be here. And yet rejoicing that He has invited the likes of us to partake of this great meal with Jesus. If we are humble this way, if we see this rightly, then it is easy for us to esteem others more highly than ourselves. When we do this, we have become like Jesus, which is the goal of our Christian faith, which is the great blessing of this meal.

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