April 1

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

“The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’” vss. 23b-24

Paul’s account of the Last Supper was written before those found in the gospels and shows that followers of Jesus practiced Holy Communion in their congregations from the very beginning. And the words that he uses are precisely the same as those used now, an astounding bit of continuity that shows the centrality of this sacrament in the life of the Church. Through the centuries these few words have been parsed and scrutinized like none other. Learned theologians have written long and obscure definitions, and in the process have managed to produce massive divisions among Christ’s people. Instead of being a point of unity for us, the Lord’s Supper has been a point of contention–often the particular doctrines have been used to exclude rather than include at the Table. And it’s all so sad! The meal is intended to be a point of connection with our Lord Jesus, and as we eat and drink the tastes and smells of the real bread and the real wine vividly remind us that God became real in Jesus, and now becomes real in us. It’s not magic or philosophical wordplay! It’s an experience of the divine, and that’s the reason why it’s the central part of worship for so many. Even our misuse hasn’t been able to mess it up!

Thought for the Day: What’s on my mind as I commune?

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