The Lord's Supper - Day 19

As I am writing this article, I am looking out at a beautiful sunrise against a red-orange sky. It is the first day of the week, and I am reminded by this glorious view of that great day when our Lord and Savior was resurrected after three days in the tomb. In a few hours, I will have the privilege of gathering with like-minded Christians - the church - as has been my privilege each first day of every week since that first Sunday that my parents carried me to worship as a baby.


I have to admit that Sunday's were not my favorite day when I was a kid. I liked the freedom of running and playing, and the first day of the week worship cut into that time. Worse still, I had to get dressed up. I guess my parents were trying to show that they were not raising a heathen, but I don't think they were fooling anyone by putting lipstick on this pig. Worse still, we worshipped twice on Sundays, so after a while my playtime was again interrupted with nice clothes and a second trip to meet with the church. I thought all of this was a bit much, when I was a child.


Today, now that I am a lot older and a little bit more mature, my outlook on the worship has changed. The first day of the week worship is a gift, not a punishment. When it is made the focal point of our week, it refreshes our perspective and reminds us of what we are doing here in the first place. The church at Corinth is an example of why we need this renewed perspective:


But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 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.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 

I Corinthians 11:17-25, ESV


The church at Corinth has a lot in common with many churches today in that they had lost their perspective. It is clear from this passage that a major purpose of the first day of the week worship was to focus on the sacrifice of our Lord, but they were turning into an opportunity to play. So Paul had to remind them why they were meeting. It was not only to partake of the Lord's supper, but it was to do so in the right way. They were to remember that the price of their sins was the shedding of Christ's blood when He gave His body up to be nailed to that cruel cross. This calling to mind of the price that was paid for our sins is a large part of our first day of the week worship. When we forget that, we might as well not be meeting as a church, for this meeting will not be pleasing to God.


Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died, But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged.

I Corinthians 11:26-31, ESV


The solution, we see, does not lie within the forsaking of the assembly of the church; rather, Scripture reveals that the correct thing to do is to examine ourselves. In other words, our lives must be right before God as we take of the bread and cup, and our thoughts must be focused upon what we are doing. This simple process of partaking of the Lord's supper allows us to remember that we have the hope of Heaven because of the One who shed His blood for our sins. If we do it right, our entire perspective of the reason for our gathering as a church, and for our lives in general, will change in such a way as to renew and refresh our souls on the first day of every week.


What a gift! Today's reading is from I Corinthians 9 through II Corinthians 1. May God richly bless your life as you seek to find and do His will in all things!