Monday, March 16, 2009

the Bread of Christ

Showing Forth Christ

What kind of communion was Christ talking about during the last supper that he had with his disciples? What was it that he wanted us to do, 'in remembrance of him?"

It has been my conviction for some time that he wasn't talking about a ceremony or a ritual to be performed (a certain amount of times per month or per year). But that is exactly what the visible church has done, they have made this a ritual, one to be performed again and again, religiously by adherents. If you follow this ritual, they say that you have participated in the 'communion' of Christ's blood and bread. It's easy to understand how the intent and significance therefore has been completely lost. When Christ referred to his blood & bread, he warned us to think about His sacrifice ('ie not take His blood & bread unworthily) in favor of simply following a tradition.

When Paul refers to the "bread of Christ's body and drinking the blood of Christ's body", he is first of all, talking to a church that is seriously struggling with many things. They needed to be pointed to Jesus, to really deeply consider what had happened on the Cross for them. They needed to do this in light of where they were now at and what they were struggling with. Think about Christ. Think about what happened on the night Jesus was betrayed, think about what His death really meant for them. The sacrifice He had made for them. Obviously, they were not doing this at all when they were coming together.

To truly drink of the cup of His blood and partake of the bread of Christ, is to really consider and judge our own consciences to see whether we are examples of His death (death to self). Are we truly partaking of that BREAD, that bread being offered to us in light of this?

The answer to this determines whether we (as individuals and collectively when we do come together,) if we TRULY are examples of Christ's death by showing forth His life.

"Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat OF THAT BREAD, and DRINK OF THAT CUP." (11.28)

Paul said many were sick and had died because they were not truly an example of this (they had never examined their lives, consciences) but instead were just living after their flesh.

We do need to be chastened when we do this. WE are God's people whom He has chosen to be his examples to others. If we fail to appreciate and consider the bread and blood of Christ, we will not be showing forth Christ to others, but we will be showing forth instead many things which will not convince a lost suffering dying world that Christ has truly risen, and chosen to live in a people. We will be proving the opposite.

Though we can't make ourselves worthy in any way, we can by partaking of the Bread which HE OFFERS US, show forth Christ to others. In that sense, we do become worthy, but it's only through partaking of THAT BREAD that He offers us. (11.26)

"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come."


Ike said...

There is danger of communion being a ritual but I also believe it is something we should do until He returns.

I'd be interested in your thoughts about baptism.

Ruth said...

HI Ike,
I was sharing this with my daughter this morning and she basically made the same comment as you have made here. I understand that when we partake of the bread and wine (the ritual) we are doing it in remembrance of what He has done and the most important thing is it points us to the spiritual application. As Christ shared a meal with his disciples before lifting up the cup and the bread, I think the idea of including the bread and wine as part of the meal is important and thus, it is no longer some sort of ritual as much as it is a tradition when you gather.


Ruth said...

ps yeah I would love to post something on baptism. :):)

Gary said...

Ruth, there are christian churches around the word that hold a ceremony with wine and a cookie. Do you have something similar at your meetings with couples?

Ruth said...

Hi Gary,
WE have shared lots of meals together as part of a house church
in the past, and what we did was we always had bread and wine as part of the meal, similar to the way Jesus and His disciples would have shared their meal together.
So it's not part of a ceremony but it's part of an actual mealshared together by His followers.

God Bless, Ruth