Friday 24 March 2017

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” (vv. 16-17)

1 Corinthians 10:14-22 Friday 24 March 2017

Psalm: Psalm125


Today's passage will be familiar to many of usas it contains the words we use week by week in our services ofHoly Communion: "Though we are many, we are one body, because weall share in one bread."

Paul draws a contrast between the food used inritual pagan sacrifices and the meal that is the hallmark of theChurch's life as a worshipping community - which has for us becomeknown as the Eucharist. And (as we now expect with Paul) it's stillnot actually about food - what we physically consume - but ratherabout our relationship with that meal and, through it, with oneanother. The Lord's Supper (as it's also known) is described byPaul as an act of sharing both in the body of Christ and inrelationship with one another. "Whose table do you want to eat at?"he asks, "What company do you want to be found in?"

Idolatry and integrity are the issues at stakehere - you cannot, Paul says, claim that Christ is the risen Lordand yet also share in another kind of community meal whose natureis to deny Jesus' sovereignty. It's a living contradiction - andimplies that you've got your 'heart knowledge' all wrong.

Today we speak of the Lord's Supper as asacrament - a visible outward sign of an inward and invisiblegrace. And this chimes with what Paul is saying here today - thoughfood and drink themselves cannot corrupt our hearts or bodies, therituals and relationships we're prepared to engage with speak ofthe values that lie within. Discipline is required if theCorinthians are to retain their integrity in a society that isdominated by idols and idolatry.

To Ponder

  • What different tables do you find yourself eating at? Where areyou most at home?
  • Can you recall a meal you have shared in that has been not justphysically but spiritually nourishing? What made it so?
  • What 'idols' do you encounter in your day-to-day life? Howmight you retain your integrity when you meet them? 
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