13 May 2022

1 Corinthians 10:14-22

Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (v. 17)

Psalm 131


This week we have been reading passages from Paul's letter to the church in Corinth. Before today's reading, Paul was discussing the history of the people of Israel as they journeyed from Egypt towards the Promised Land. After this, he gives further instruction regarding idol worship which he started talking about in chapter 8.

The words in this reading are familiar as part of Holy Communion. The cup of blessing in verse 16 refers to a cup which would be taken at the end of a Jewish meal and it would be blessed. The bread in verses 16 and 17 refers to the sacrament of Holy Communion and the one bread that unifies all those who partake of the sacrament. The reference to "partners in the altar" in verse 18, links a precursor in the history of Israel to Holy Communion as it is known today.

In verses 19-22 Paul deals with sacrifices to idols. His message is that the Corinthians cannot participate in the sacrament at God’s table and also practise idol worship. In verse 22 he talks about provoking God to jealousy, which  is reminiscent of the second commandment in Exodus 20:4-5 where God forbids worshipping or bowing down to idols and where God says, “I the Lord your God am a jealous god.”

 In the contemporary world there are many examples of idol worship, such as people who worship money and who want more and more, never satisfied with what they have.


To Ponder:

  • How important is the sacrament of Holy Communion in your life? And if it is important, why is that the case?  
  • Apart from money, what other things do people worship?

Bible notes author

The Revd Lynita Conradie

Lynita Conradie was ordained in 2005 in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and worked part-time as a minister and also as a human rights lawyer and editor of the Namibian Law Reports, in Namibia. Lynita came to Britain in September 2013 and served as a presbyter in the Nottingham (North) Circuit until August 2018. She is currently in the Harrow and Hillingdon Circuit. In 2021 she was awarded a Professional Doctorate in practical theology by Chester University. In her spare time, Lynita follows cricket and rugby and likes reading and travelling.

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