Who likes to go to Costco and get the free samples? I sure do. You wait in line for a minute, grab the sample, say thanks and move on. It’s easy; no thought behind it and it’s free food.
What if we treated communion like that?
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” (NIV) If we believe that to be true, then we understand that sometimes we are going to have to make a correction in our lives. I want to look at a correction that Paul gave to the Corinthian church; it might be one that you need to make. I know it has been for me.
If God’s word is living and breathing, we need to take the warm fuzzy stuff right along with the words that can be hard to hear at times. With that being said, let’s look at the correction Paul gives in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.
For I (Paul) received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night 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, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. (NIV)
Paul is quoting Jesus when He says, “Do this in remembrance of me.” When we take communion, we need to do it in remembrance of Jesus and think about what He did for us and why He did it. I am embarrassed to admit that I have done what Paul is correcting the church about doing.
I have approached the table with my mind going in a bunch of directions like I do when waiting in the sample line at Costco. I grab my communion, say thanks, pop it in my mouth and move on like I do when I grab a Costco sample. The correction and conviction I have found in this is powerful. I am guilty of what it talks about in verse 28. “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the break and drink of the cup.”
There have been times I have taken communion without giving a thought to the fact I stumbled over my pride or anger just days before. I forget the tidbit of gossip I spoke earlier that week or that I have a list of things to be thankful for. A simple “please forgive me and thank for what You have done” was either forgotten or spoken with little conviction.
I am not trying to make anyone feel bad but we need to be reminded that communion is not just a habit or ritual we do when we come to church. It should never be treated like a snack at Costco.
Communion is a time to fellowship together and to remember what Christ did for us and all He will continue to do. It should be approached with a heart of thankfulness and reverence. Take time to really examine your heart and focus on Christ. You are not in the snack line at Costco. You are approaching the table of the King of kings who gave His life for you.