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1 Corinthians 10:14-17; 11:27-32
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves. For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
One Bread, One Body
There are many issues that separate people. I mean, individuals certainly divide over politics, something that seems far more common and dramatic today than it was in the past. But, when you think about it, this seems more the rule than the exception. In fact, there appears to be a lot more stuff that divides than unites, and I’m talking about everything from musical styles to sports teams. As a matter of fact, sometimes it seems as though folks are just looking for an excuse to isolate themselves into their own little group. And I’ll tell you, those who call Jesus “Lord” aren’t immune to this reality. And if you have any doubt about this, just think of the enormous trauma that may occur within a congregation when you change something as insignificant as the font used in the bulletin or the color of the carpet in the narthex. Maybe this is just part of being human, that we’re willing to break off fellowship with someone with whom we share the big stuff, because songs must be sung in a book rather than from a screen.
But for those who claim to be Christians, one thing should never be a reason to divide, and that’s the sacrament of communion. As Paul clearly states, “...there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.” In other words, this rite that was instituted by Christ himself can provide unity for the people of God if we let it. You see, once we look past some of the details that often get in the way, we can unite as the Body of Christ whenever we break the bread and drink from the cup. This can be a reminder of who we truly are, something that becomes clear when we see the one bread and remember it was offered to the one body.