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November 18 | I Corinthians 11:17-34


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


Communion Abuse

by David Thompson

When I was quite young and had only been a Christian for a short time, I took communion for the first time in my life. I was seventeen years old and questioned a lot of things. The leader read parts of the I Corinthians passage where we are not to take communion unworthily. Stating that there were many sick among you for not doing it correctly. Basically the line, "So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink of from the cup." (v. 27) The next line says if you don't examine yourself you bring judgement upon yourself. Oh, my. My seventeen-year-old brain was just spinning thinking of all of the things wrong in my life that might disqualify me as a worthy taker of this communion thing.


The challenge Paul was warning them against was not that sin in our own lives makes us unworthy to take communion, but something much bigger. The wine or the blood of Christ is the New Covenant as it brings us back to the cross. Remember, Revelation 1:5 states, "...and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us, and washed us from our sins by his blood. The Blood of Jesus Christ washes us from our sins." So you see, communion and the words stated by our pastors and then said by us absolves us from any sin that is lingering in our mind. Knowing that, when I sat at my first communion, would have really helped with the guilt that this passage caused me.


No, what Paul was trying to get through to the people of Corinth was that the gluttony of those with means and the hunger of those that were without means was ruining the sacrament. People were eating the communion meal without any thought of Jesus Christ. People were guilty of not understanding the real meaning of communion and this was unacceptable. Because of this abuse, "Many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep." (v. 30)


People need to seriously consider what the bread and the wine are and what the whole sacrament means. They should come to the table knowing Christ is king and that communion should bring us closer to others (not divide us) and bring us closer to Jesus Christ.


PRAYER

Lord help us to have the right thinking about communion. Let us take the meal with seriousness and resolve to love others and love you more. We thank you for communion as we experience a closeness to you in our practice of this sacrament. We love you and want to be close to you in all we do. Amen!







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