Sunday, July 20, 2003

Edifier du Jour-1 Corinthians 11:23-31
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 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." 25 In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. 27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.
The question in my mind when I read this is what would be an unworthy manner. The side effects of taking communion when doing so aren't pleasant. I think the first step in worthiness is to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior. People who haven't gotten to that point aren't really with the program. If I understand it correctly, one of the big steps in a Catholic kid's life is their First Communion, for they have to be old enough to understand what Jesus did for them. I don't remember a formal program growing up in the Methodist church, but Eileen mentioned that they had a communicant's class for 5th and 6th graders in her Presbyterian church; they've lowered the age some since, but the idea was to teach kids what communion was about. That might bring in some people who may not have a personal knowledge of Jesus, but it will at least give them a heads-up as to the idea that their doing something more than having crackers and juice. The second part is looking at one's life and whether he's actually living out that faith and repenting of those sins that have him falling short before taking communion. One church I was in left open a patch of time for not only prayerfully examining oneself but going over and asking forgiveness of fellow church member they had sinned against. A person who hasn't been walking the walk and refuses to admit it might be the person who Paul's talking about. One can carry this verse too far and act as the Judgement Police-"I saw what you and Katie were doing at the hayride last night; are you sure you're worth?" This is one for ourselves, not to hold over the heads of others.

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