The Lord's Supper as a Symbol of Unity
Scripture Reading — 1 Corinthians 10:14-17
We, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf.
1 Corinthians 10:17 —
We, who are manythis little phrase seems like an understatement. Jesus church has been growing for 2,000 years. It thrives today in more than 300 countries and cultures. More than a billion people on the planet are affiliated with churches that pray in Jesus name.
But then the text also says we are one. Thats a lot harder to understand. Churches dont agree on many key convictions. The divisions among churches affect every neighborhood.
This becomes even more challenging with the phrase for we all partake of the one loaf. How difficult this is when many churches, sometimes for very compelling reasons, choose not to participate in the Lords Supper celebrations of other churches.
So what do we make of this text? First, think of it as an invitation. Every time you participate in the Lords Supper, picture in your mind that you are united with people from 20 centuries and 300 countries and cultures. If you are looking for a church home, look for one that actively cultivates this vivid awareness.
Then think of this text as a prophecy. In the coming kingdom, at the wedding feast of the Lamb, all institutional barriers to church unity will be gonealong with all the wars and other divisions that God is going to overcome. We live in hope of that day!
Lord of the church, help us see beyond the disunity that often marks our church life. Help us discern all the ways that your Spirit is building us up together as one people. Amen.