God’s Beautiful Declaration Meal
Paul instructs the believers at Corinth to maintain the cultural distinction between genders and rebukes them for the way they have been celebrating the Lord’s Supper. The poor are getting shamed at the meal to which all come as equals. When we take communion, it’s a statement: Jesus died, and in his death we are free. All who participate in the meal are united in their need of Jesus’ atoning death. There’s no room for distinctions.
Every believer is a member of the body of Christ; together we are the Messiah’s body. The Spirit gives each of us different gifts, and we are to use those gifts to serve the rest of the body.
The fuel behind all of our actions must be love. Believers may do many impressive things with their gifts, but without love those accomplishments are nothing. Certain gifts are needed now, while we “know in part”—like the gift of prophecy and the gift of faith—but they won’t be needed in heaven when we “know fully” (see 1 Corinthians 13:2, 12). Love will be ever-present in heaven, and as kingdom citizens, love is the kingdom atmosphere we should be spreading now.
Paul instructs the Corinthians that when a believer speaks in tongues in a worship service, what they say should be explained to the rest of the congregation so that everyone can understand and be encouraged.
The King’s Heart
“Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26).
Communion. Every time we eat the bread and drink the cup, it’s a declaration. “Do this in remembrance of me,” Jesus says (1 Corinthians 11:24, 25). Communion is a proclamation Jesus wants us to make over ourselves: “Jesus died. He died for me. He broke his body for me. He poured out his blood for me.”
Who is it a declaration to? To us—we need the reminder that we exist under the covering of Jesus’ sacrifice. To any watching unbelievers whose hearts might be stirred by what God has done for us. And to any of the forces of darkness: “Jesus died, and in him, I am free. You have no authority here anymore. I am his.”
God wants us and the watching world to be crystal clear on this fact: We are his.
When the early church celebrated the Lord’s Supper, they’d eat a potluck meal together. The rich would often bring more food than the poor. And sadly, because of their divisions, the rich would eat first, not leaving much for the poor.