Scripture 1 Cor 11:27Therefore, 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. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. 29For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.
None of us are worthy to even eat the crumbs that fall from the Master’s table. We are not worthy, yet we are invited, we are not deserving, yet we are counted as heirs.
This little piece of scripture has been instrumental in keeping so many good Christians away from taking communion over the years, and I really feel that it is because of a misunderstanding of what Paul was teaching.
We have to remember that when Paul wrote his letters, he was writing about specific problems that were popping up in the Churches he had helped establish. One of the problems at Corinth was with the Lord’s Supper.
Thier idea of the Lord’s Supper, and our idea of it are not quite the same. To the first century Church the Lord’s Supper was more of what we would call today a fellowship meal. What we know today as Communion, believe it or not, we owe largely to the early Catholic Church, and the Eucharist.
People were apparently coming to this fellowship meal in Corinth and were jumping ahead in line and filling up their plates like they were at a one trip only salad bar. They were drinking so much wine that some of them were drunk, and the people in the back of the line were getting left out, they were left with empty plates and wine skins.
So this is the behavior Paul was working on correcting. And if you can imagine that happening at a fellowship meal today, you can see where it needed to be addressed in a fairly harsh tone. I don’t blame Paul for saying what he did. However I do think that if the Apostle had known that we would relate his words to Holy Communion, he may have chosen a different method of reproach.
In my humble opinion, it boils down to this. None of us are truly worthy of Holy Communion. In fact none of us are worthy of anything Christ has done for us. But out of His love for us He did it anyway, and wants us to receive the blessings He has laid out before us, the blessings that He has paid for with His very blood.
When you are asked to partake of Holy Communion, don’t refrain because you are unworthy – we all are. Come examining yourself, that you are supposed to do, but COME. Examination of our souls is part of the practice, it’s part of how we receive God’s grace, its our way of earnestly repenting and seeking Jesus. When you come, remember what Christ has done for you, and celebrate the life of your savior. In Communion we take into ourselves Christ Body, and His Blood, and become The Body of Christ for this lost and dying world. Don’t miss out on that blessing because you feel unworthy. Let Christ MAKE you worthy with HIS worthiness.
Although I am far from perfect, and I know that I am not worthy to carry your shoes, or eat crumbs from your table, yet you use me. I praise you that you have chosen the weak to confound the strong, and the foolish to confound the wise. Guide me as a weak and foolish person to be a strong and wise tool of your will and help me to accomplish Your purposes today for Your glory!
Also Lord – I ask you to watch over my Mother’s odometer as she rolls past the dreaded 66,666 mile marker – may your angels carry her through. *grin*
I know I am not worthy – but He is worthy, and by Him I am made acceptable to God!