Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Going Deeper- Communion

Each week, we're sending out an email with a weekly devotional thought taken from the previous week's sermon. I thought it would be fun to post them here for everyone to see. This was from a couple weeks ago. We'll get caught up soon...

In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul has some instruction for the Corinthian church about Communion. He mentions that their meetings “do more harm than good” (v. 17). I think the harm he refers to is harm to themselves, since he says in verse 30 that an unexamined heart towards God in Communion is the reason some people in Corinth have died!

He mentions two things in particular that should never be mixed with Communion: Division and Selfishness.

Division in the church grieves God more than almost anything else. Division happens because of unforgiveness. Someone doesn’t meet our expectations about something, and we hold it against him or her. Before long, we’re telling others about it. And pretty soon, the focus is on bad blood between people instead of on Christ’s blood for us. May God help us to keep short accounts with one another and to be quick to show grace to one another; especially when we come together to celebrate God’s grace towards us.

In the first century, church services were often based on a full meal together. The Corinthians were putting their gluttony over the needs of others. In our day, selfishness manifests itself in other ways, but it is just as destructive. We are selfish in our commitments (we keep them when we feel like it), in our conversations (we listen when we feel like it), and in our attitude towards God (we obey Him when we feel like it). I know I have those tendencies and I hate it. Communion is a perfect time to lay that selfishness on the altar and put Jesus first.

Paul concludes that we need to examine ourselves before taking Communion. So this week spend time reflecting on your love for God and your love for others. Are they were they need to be? What do you need to confess or forgive to have your heart in a right place before God?

The sermon for this topic can be found here.


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