From Pastor Ken
Preparing for a Meal
In order to promote understanding about our scripture text, I want to share a personal story. It not exactly a parallel, but I think it will help us. Today I am reminded a little, about while growing up; how we enjoyed our time of play and how we looked forward to a meal with great anticipation. My mother would call us and we would run to the table like we didn’t have good manners or training. Maybe I would reach out my hand to maybe stick a finger into an apple pie to have a quick taste; my mother with a stern face and motioning of her hand, and would say “don’t you dare!” This act was a pretty serious violation at our table, and her disposition expressed the seriousness in mind. My mother was actually the calm one between the two of my parents. My father was feared because he was normally not so calm, but at the table he only needed to look at us a certain way; then we would examine ourselves, just assuming we did something wrong. Yet at the table, my parents tried to uphold two key principles among several others. One was to give thanks to God for all meals we consume, while asking his blessing; the other was proper hygiene or sanitary practices. We have come to accept and understand these principles, but as adults we understand more about the importance of sanitary practices before coming to the table. We have learned and seen that by a lack of proper hygiene and unsanitary conditions, many people around the world fall sick, are subject to disease and even sometimes death. I think you may know where I am going with this illustration.
Title: Preparation for the Lord’s Supper
Through our scripture text the Apostle Paul communicates to believers in Corinth, about some very serious matters surrounding the observance of the Lord’s Supper. For perceiving the relevance today, it is more important to understand that the letter was directed to a body of believers; and that such conditions can occur among believers. The city was well noted as one that was degenerate, dissipated, and debauched, but the apostle’s target was the church. It is likely that this epistle was written near the period A.D. 55.
It is said that the communion table is like a great bridge spanning from the time of the Passover observance (Deu. 16:3) with its shadows; to the actualization of Jesus fulfilling the role of the Passover lamb or the lamb (I Cor. 5:7) of God.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies; we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Rom. 5:6-10).
I don’t believe we are in the same state of the church epitomized in the letter (I Cor. 11:27-30), but by reflecting, taking heed, and examining ourselves we can avert the conditions and similar consequences. It is said that a Christian would never come to the Lord’s Supper table with un- repented sin; considering all that it represents. Yet who is worthy? He that is made worthy; by the justification of the Lord Jesus Christ; know that God is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse from all unrighteousness.
Beyond this point if we remember Jesus, and what He has done for us on the cross; it will remind us of our past justification, prove to be a source of our present sustenance, and catalyst of hope; as we see the pledge it brings of our future glory and blessedness.
It is a table of table of remembrance (v. 24). It is a table of obedience: “take, eat …” (v. 24). It is a table of self-examination (v. 28). It is table of communion that of fellowship, sharing, and participation (I Cor. 10:16). It is a table of thanksgiving (v. 24). It is a table of confession; It is a table of expectation: “Till he come” (v. 26).
Preparing for the Lord’s Supper, let us go to God in prayer.
Father we thank you for the great sacrifice made on the cross to atone for the sins of men. We thank you for your Son, and the justification that he makes for us. We know you to be faithful and just to forgive and cleanse from all unrighteousness, therefore please forgive us of all sin. Forgive of those sin know, and unknown; those of omission and those of commission. We may not feel, but we trust you and your word. Touch our hearts and minds, touch and bless our observance; in Jesus’ name we pray (Amen).