The Bible bids us come and eat. “Take, eat, this is my body”. Jesus gave the bread, not only to his disciples, but also to Judas. They were all one in Christ, and Christ bid them all come. But eleven were blessed, and one was cursed. In his letter to Corinth, Paul is giving directions for how the Supper is to be taken, and he tells the church of Corinth not to take the Body of the Lord in an unworthy manner lest they bring judgment upon themselves. What is Paul saying? First of all, the Supper is to be taken when the saints, the Body of Christ gather. Secondly they are to exemplify the unity represented by the Supper in their conduct, for if not their conduct lies about the nature of the body of Christ which is unified. God is One, and the Body of Christ must be One with each other and with the Father. If a man is not in communion with his brother, then he ought to be reunited, lest he lie about the meaning of the Supper he is about to partake. What a more fitting opportunity to repent of faction than before the Table which represents the unity of the church? What is the last thing for a saint to do before the table of the Lord? Abstain.
To abstain is to cut oneself off from the people of God, which in affect fulfills Paul’s warning. He reproached them for coming together with lack of unity, how much less unified is the Body of Christ when certain members are watching, and “partaking in heart”? The point of the Supper is the remembrance of the death of Christ. That death, because of the breaking of Christ’s body on the cross, now unites together believers who have been washed through baptism in the blood of Christ. Christ’s body was broken so that many might be un-broken and unified with Him. The command to all that are in the body is to come, eat, and drink. As a father invites his children to the Sabbath Meal, so Christ invites us to his table. May no child say, “No thanks dad, I’ll just watch you all eat.” Let us first of all obey the clear command to come, and secondly, let us do so in a worthy manner.
January 8, 2007
Written early Monday morning after reflecting upon a Baptist worship service from the day before.