“23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 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. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.”
1 Corinthians 17:23-29
Do this in remembrance of me. You proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Whoever eats and drinks without discerning the body of Christ drinks judgement on himself, the body, the church. If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home so that when you meet together, it may not result in judgment.
Imagine Jesus Christ preaching love and his disciples exhibiting greed, selfishness and no care for others when they participate in a ceremony meant to proclaim His death. A ceremony meant to proclaim His death; a ceremony meant to show the world what love really is. That, ‘Greater love has no man than this; that he lay down his life for his friends’. Death. To proclaim that this death was actually love. Imagine disregarding in totality the reason for the ceremony and doing something the exact opposite. The greed in wanting more and not caring about the other person is what Paul warned against.
Contemporary times; we no longer break proper bread, in fact, it’s just a wafer and a semblance of a cup of wine so it’s hard to get drunk whilst others go hungry. Truth is, if you bank your hope on the communion, you’ll go home quite disappointed but anyway back to the subject of matter, in these contemporary times, how do we drink of the cup in an unworthy manner?
Simple, it’s the same as before. See, underlying the drunkenness was greed, selfish motives, conceit … Simply put, no love for others.
You gobble down the wafer and wine solemnly yet in an unworthy manner if you do not recognize the body, which is the church.
Granted, there are other ways of participating in the ceremony in an unworthy manner. But see, Christ didn’t die so that we live individualistic lives. More so he didn’t institute a divine mass ceremony so that we partake of it alone.
He wants us to wait for one another, care about one another, care for one another and partake of the cup together as loved ones and therefore proclaim His death; His ultimate show of love to the world until He comes.
So the next time you join the queue for your wafer and wine, take a moment, pause and think about the person behind you in the queue. Do you recognize him as a part of the body?