Reflection on the Communion 2/1/12015
1 Corinthians 11:23-29
At our last Holy Communion, our sermon was from Matthew 26: 26-30 on the three main purposes of keeping the Holy Communion:
(1) The first purpose of the Holy Communion is the expression of thanksgiving. We thank the Lord our God, Jesus gave his life and died for our sins. The bread and wine represented His body and blood.
(2) The second purpose of keeping the Holy Communion is that it is the redemption of the New Testament. What it represents allows people to establish a new relationship with God. We need to live for Him from this day forward, to continue his work that he has left for us to complete, before he ascended to heaven, to spread the Good News to all people on earth and we do this through obedience and love.
(3) The third purpose of the Holy Communion is of glory and hope. Jesus said, “I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Matt 26:29
Today’s sermon will be from 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.
“What should we reflect on when we take the Holy Communion?”
(There are four main points for us to reflect on as we take the Holy Communion.)
1. Desire God’s cross. To be inspired to love God, and to love others around us. (v. 24-26)
In verse 24, Jesus said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Israelites observe Passover to remember the days when they were saved from slavery in Egypt. We keep the Holy Communion in remembrance of how Jesus redeemed us from our sins. Jesus suffered and died on the cross in order grant us salvation. The more we reflect about God’s cross, the more we will experience thankfulness which in turn inspires love for God and for people around us.
2. We look forward to Jesus’ return, be attentive and continue His work (v.26)
In verse 26: “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” In this verse the phrase, “until he comes” is referring to Jesus’ return. The second coming is Jesus’ prophecy, also His promise, bringing us great hope. Let us “proclaim the Lord’s death” meaning to spread the news that He died for us and He rose again. Observing the Holy Communion in comparison to observing Passover has an added level of hope, looking forward to God’s return. Matthew 26:29 says, “I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until the day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.” This is the ultimate realization of our hope.
3. Introspection of our sin, and accepting its full pardon (v. 27-28)
In verses 27-28: “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.”
If people do not have faith, do not believe, and do not repent then it is a rejection of the Lord, and keeping the Holy Communion under those circumstances will only bring judgement onto oneself. The word “judgement” appears five times in verses 29 to 32. Therefore under church law, people are forbidden to take the Holy Communion if they do not repent their sins they have committed. There are also some who feel that they are unworthy of the Holy Communion because they are sinners. There are two common categories of unworthiness, one is the people feeling unworthy for they are sinners, and the other is people taking the Holy Communion with the wrong attitude that makes them unworthy. It is not about the character of the people taking Holy Communion, but their attitude during service. As long as we examine and self-reflect, then the Holy Communion is prepared for all of us unworthy sinners, our revered attitude toward the Holy Communion is important.
4. Fellowship communication, and unity in ministry (v. 33-34)
The Holy Communion is an act of connectedness with Christ, as believers share the bread and cup. In the first Corinthians 10:16 “Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?”
“koinonia” means fellowship in communion (Greek: literal translation is “communion, fellowship”). The underlying danger for any fellowship is the possibility of splitting into smaller sub-groups, separation between the rich and the poor, Israelites and gentiles, man and woman. The Holy Communion reminds us to be in unity with one another, share within fellowships, together we serve God, our Lord.
Once we receive
Everytime we receive the bread and wine, it is as if we see once again Jesus on the cross, the sacrifice of His body and blood, we should use the attitude of one who is sincere in receiving the Holy Communion. And we need to self-examine, after receiving the Holy Communion we should love God even more. Through the Holy Communion we are reminded that all our sins have been washed away. That our sins have been picked up and carried off, and God has given us strength and new life.