1 Corinthians 11:17-34

1 Corinthians 11:17-34 … The severity of Corinthian corrections is apparent in 1 Corinthians 11:17, “… when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse.” That’s quite an indictment (worth considering about our own gatherings for worship)! It’s in this context that this letter addresses the Sacrament of Communion or the Holy Eucharist (which means Holy Thanksgiving). It seems that in the early Corinthian church, Holy Communion meant having a big meal, everyone for himself and the text, for all time, restores the holiness of the occasion, which is not for physical nourishment but is for spiritual nourishment and is principally a time for self-examination and remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ for us.

Different denominations have adopted perspectives on the bread and wine. The Catholic Church considers the bread and wine to be transformed into the body and blood of Christ, which is theologically called transubstantiation; most Lutherans believe that the body and blood of Christ are truly present with the elements of the Eucharist, and most other Protestant denominations consider that the elements are symbols consumed in reflection and remembrance of the sacrifice of Christ for us. It is a holy time for communion (the faithful gathering in fellowship) and devotion to Christ. It’s this passage from Corinthians that pastors frequently quote during Communion. One other thought. Here, and in the feeding of the 5000, and during the Last Supper, you see the phrase “he blessed and he broke,” which is really what occurred on the Cross. He blessed those who believe and accept His sacrifice for sins and broke His own body for the forgiveness of sins. It is a holy time of reflection.

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