What are you thinking….. The Lord’s Supper (Communion)
The Lord’s Supper, (or Communion) is one of the most important things in the life of Christians, yet it is sometimes misunderstood also. The Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians about what it is all about in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 . Notice what he says…
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”
When we gather for communion together as a church it is sometimes confusing to people, it’s not so much a question of knowing what do we do, but rather, what do we think……
We understand that it was presented to us by Jesus for the purpose of remembering him and the sacrifice he made for us, but it is more than something we just “DO”…. It is something which we are a part of… something we share with Christ and Others….. but mostly we participate for our own well being.
In the next verse 1 Corinthians 11:27 Jesus continues (NOTE: There is an unfortunate choice of words in The King James Version of 1 Corinthians 11:27. This translation has caused some misunderstanding in this regard): “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord”.
The wording of unworthily (in the King James Version), has made some Christians believe they had to “make themselves worthy” to partake in communion, or if they feel they have sinned they feel they are unworthy to come and remember what Jesus had done on the cross for them. Because of this they don’t join with their brothers and sisters in Communing with the Lord.
This is a serious misunderstanding, because if anyone needs to remember the work of Jesus on the cross, it is the one who has sinned! When we are repentant, our sin should drive us to our Savior, not away from Him!
Understand this: We can never really make ourselves “worthy” of what Jesus did for us on the cross. It is his blood that saves us and makes us worthy. He did it because of His great love, not because some of us were so worthy.
A better translation of verse 27 might be, “anyone takes the bread or the cup of the Lord in the wrong spirit… he will be responsible for the body and blood of the Lord” (BBE)
So again, it’s not so much a question of knowing what we do, but what we think as we do it. It is a matter of having our heart right with God with the right attitude.
We are human and it is so easy to become distracted while participating in the Lord’s Supper isn’t it? We try to focus on Christ’s sacrifice and then someone sneezes, or a baby cries or we notice something or someone that causes our focus to shift just a little…. Then before we know it we are thinking about where we are going to eat lunch or some problem with work or things like that…. We catch ourselves and try to refocus, but again, that is just the human part of us it seems….
THE PROBLEM: I believe I know somewhat what the problem is…. It’s the quiet…. Everyone is quiet, trying to focus…. Trying to be respectful… trying to be thankful and in our world filled with distractions we don’t know how to handle the quiet….
Conclusion: So, what do we do? Here’s the thing….. I don’t know! Each of us is different, yet each of us struggle with the same problem… focusing on God in our lives…..
I’ve worshiped with some congregations that sing a soft meaningful song while sharing communion while others have meaningful scriptures read to help people focus…
Yet it all comes down to us personally and our relationship to Christ….. I don’t want to be “Unworthy” (or have the wrong spirit), and I’m sure you don’t either. I would suggest that if you can, pray to God to forgive us as the sinners we are and thank him for giving his life for us.