This morning I was reading 1 Corinthians 11:23-34 about the Lord’s Supper. And I was stuck with the fearful awe of God. These are very serious verses.
Paul “received from the Lord that which [he] passed on to [us]” (v. 23). And this instruction from Christ Himself for the order of the Eucharist contains some quite stark warnings. Reading those clear requirements, and then the severe consequences, took me to a fresh reverence for the holiness of Eucharist: Christ’s offering His own Blood and Body.
1 Corinthians 11:29-31 AMPC
For anyone who eats and drinks without discriminating and recognizing with due appreciation that [it is Christ’s] body, eats and drinks a sentence (a verdict of judgment) upon himself.
That [careless and unworthy participation] is the reason many of you are weak and sickly, and quite enough of you have fallen into the sleep of death.
For if we searchingly examined ourselves [detecting our shortcomings and recognizing our own condition], we should not be judged and penalty decreed [by the divine judgment].
Too Many Treat the Eucharist Casually
The Lord’s Supper has become just something you do in church. We take the elements as just a religious observance like Memorial Day, without going through the deep self-judgment which the Lord requires before His sacrifice is ‘ingested’ by faith.
The eternal ramifications and the imminent danger of sickness and death—these are shocking to our casual Christianity. But the Father will not allow His Beloved Son to be treated with such indifference and ingratitude!
May we wake up, live facing the piercing Light of God for His Kingdom, and so receive all the blessed gifts of grace and reconciliation, for which Jesus paid so hideous a price. Such gifts of mercy, grace and forgiveness are lavishly, freely offered!
To be cavalier or unwilling to hallow Christ’s sacrifice is the height of foolishness.
Embracing the Holiness of the Eucharist
But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined and chastened, so that we may not [finally] be condemned [to eternal punishment along] with the world.
1 Corinthians 11:32 AMPC
You see, I am judging ME, and sharing it with you.
So now I need to look in God’s face, and confess my sin of walking shallow over deep and holy things. Then I will embrace that sweet and fresh fear of God and celebrate the Eucharist right here at my desk.
My first year as a new Christian I went to Israel with a large church group. Two young ladies engaged in a rather public display of disagreement right before our arrival at the Garden of Gethsemiane & The Lords Supper. By Gods mercy I understood enough to confess my sins before partaking. Apparently not everyone did as most became terribly ill and some wheelchaired the rest of the trip. Our plane was quarantined upon return to Dallas due to this ‘malaria’.
It’s wise to keep a healthy fear of the Lord!
Thank you Martha,
This is no small thing. Doing by tradition (the letter) rather than by revelation (the Spirit) often makes common that which is Holy. How can we believe God for forgiveness, salvation, healing, and miracles if we don’t believe (Fear) Him and His judgments Declared in His Word.
such a beautiful, life-bringing truth …..holy, holy, holy is the Lord …..early in the morning shall my song rise up to Thee ….
Dearest Martha, your words pierce me make me tremble at all the times I have gone to the altar without deeply searching my heart! Thank you for this word.