Today’s devotion is based on 1 Corinthians 11.
“Everyone ought to examine themselves
before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.”
1 Corinthians 11:28
Years ago I was part of a church staff, and every Tuesday morning we would meet together and plan the upcoming Sunday morning church service. Like many churches in America, we would partake of the Lord’s Supper — the bread and the cup — on the first Sunday of every month.
In one particular staff meeting, every person who represented a specific ministry had an announcement they wanted to make on Sunday morning. The worship pastor. The youth pastor. The women’s ministry director. And the prayer coordinator.
They didn’t want one person doing all of the announcements either. Each of them wanted “microphone time” — meaning, they wanted to share their own announcement, which would take about five minutes each. In addition to these individual announcements, the college pastor had a 12-minute video that he wanted to show the congregation. It was footage from a recent weekend trip the college students had taken.
The senior pastor acquiesced to everyone’s request. And to accommodate the extra time needed for the announcements and video, the pastor decided to shorten his sermon and remove the Lord’s Supper from the Sunday morning schedule.
Being fairly new to this staff, I kept silent, but something inside me grieved this decision. I felt a heaviness, a burden, that I couldn’t quite explain.
We replaced communion for some announcements and a video.
When we place our own agenda ahead of the Lord’s Supper during a worship service, something has gone terribly wrong.
Communion has always been a very special time for me. As a child, the time for communion was never confused with snack time.
The bread and the cup represent Christ’s body broken, His blood spilled.
In today’s passage, Paul instructs believers to partake of the Lord’s Supper with a sincere reverence. He says we ought to examine ourselves before we eat of the bread and drink of the vine.
So whenever I partake of the bread and the cup, I first quiet my soul and ask the Lord to search my heart.
If there’s something I need to repent of, I do so before I eat or drink. I ask God to forgive me, and I ask Him to show me if there’s anyone I am harboring judgment against — anyone I need to forgive. Then I take the bread and drink the cup and thank Him for His sacrifice and the grace He gives.
Years have passed since that one particular staff meeting, and I’m deeply grateful to be a part of a church now that’s much closer to home, but the thing I love most about our church today is the fact that it serves communion every single Sunday.
I don’t know if this is the norm in churches everywhere, and I’m not saying that every church should serve communion every Sunday. But it’s a tradition — a sacrament — that is very important to me. Because it’s a moment that is set aside each week where I can be quiet before the Lord and remember what He has done.