Last month during communion we talked about the expression “You are what you eat.” In communion Christ Jesus invites us to come and feed on him spiritually by remembering his life, death, and resurrection and by renewing our faith and trust in him. This month I want to add the expression, “You are how you eat.”
Before the Apostle Paul ever tells us what is going on in the Lord’s Supper he confronts the church of Corinth over how they are eating.
1 Corinthians 11:18a, 20-21 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you […] 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. (NIV)
They’re eating and drinking the Lord’s supper in a divisive manner. Some eat a full meal while others go hungry. In fact, instruction for how to eat the Lord’s Supper comes before and after Paul’s words of institution (1 Cor 11:17-22, 27-34). The theology, the core of the teaching, is important but it has to come with church unity.
This means Paul cares as much if not more about how we eat the Lord’s Supper than if we have all the right beliefs. It’s good to know what the supper means but we have to take it in unity and harmony with our church family. Instead of taking the supper divided by ethnicity or wealth we take it as one. Instead of taking the supper divided by gossip or disagreement we take it as one. Instead of taking the supper divided by politics or preferences we take it as one. Instead of taking the supper separate and alone we take it as one. We are how we eat.
What can help us take the supper the right way? What can unify us? Our belief in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 11:23-24 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.” (ESV)
1 Corinthians 11:25-26 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. (ESV)
This week let’s examine not only what we’re doing when we take the bread and juice but how we’re doing it. How am I treating my brother or sister in Jesus? You don’t have to be perfect to take communion with us, but you do have to know Jesus, love him, and try to love others like him. If that’s you I invite you to take communion with us. You are how you eat.
Pastor Jonathan Romig wrote this reflection on the Lord’s Supper.