Saturday

18 May 2019

1 Corinthians 10:14-22

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? (v. 16)

Psalm: Psalm 131

Background

Thirteen men met for a Passover meal. They had come to Jerusalem. They were a mixed crowd. Peter was the confident one, or so it seemed. Always to the front but often his words were stronger than his resolve. He’d deny Jesus when later he was challenged. Philip counted the cost, "How will we feed all these?" when five thousand were waiting. "It’ll cost too much." James and John wanted to be on top, sons of thunder, arguing. Simon was a zealot, terrorist we’d say today. We could go on. We must. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss for forty pieces of silver.

And they ate together.

Paul’s account of Jesus’ words at the Last Supper is thought to be the oldest version. The Gospel accounts came later. The words are interesting.

Jesus has said, "Do this in remembrance of me." What do we make of this? The word remembrance is, I believe, significant. For two millennia the focus has been on the bread and wine. I think we may have lost the plot. Liturgists have argued over the correct way to celebrate a Eucharist. I think we have lost our way. Remembrance, anamnesis is the original word, means to re-member, put back together the reality of that last meal. The meal was shared by a group of potentially dysfunctional people brought together by the love of Jesus such that Paul goes on to write, "Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread." (v. 17)

Communion is the living parable that a group of very different people can be the body of Christ. The cup is one of BLESSING. The bread is the bread of LIFE. They were blessed indeed and were sharing a new way of living. And so can we.

 

To Ponder:

  • What does communion mean to you?
  • What is the Body of Christ?

Bible notes author

The Revd Andrew Pratt

Andrew is a Methodist supernumerary presbyter, Honorary Research Fellow at Luther King House, Manchester, and author. He has written over 1,450 hymns.

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