Lent Devotional April 9, 2020

Scripture

1 Corinthians 10:14-17; 11:27-32

14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. . . . 11:27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves. 30 For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

Devotional

The Rev. Dr. Donald K. McKim ’74, Academia (1994)

On Maundy Thursday, the church celebrates the Lord’s Supper. The bread and wine offered by Jesus to all his disciples focuses on Jesus’ death and the benefits of salvation given by the God of grace, who has loved us to the uttermost in Jesus Christ. In Christ’s death we are united with God in Christ and with each other by bonds of faith in the church. The bread and cup are a koinonia, a sharing of the body and blood of Christ (10:16). We “who are many are one body” (10:17) as we share in this sacrament. We cultivate the unity which is ours in Christ so that we do not “eat and drink without discerning the body,” which would thereby bring judgment (11:29-32).

The church’s unity is grounded in Jesus Christ as God’s gift of grace. Our discipleship as followers of Christ involves doing all we can to emphasize and enact this unity among Christian believers. The Table of our Lord is where we find who we are and whose we are—and where we know most fully that we have sisters and brothers in Christ with whom we share the bread and wine.

Ecumenical efforts in our churches are not options. They are necessities for us to live into the unity Christ brings. To turn away means we are “discerning the body” wrongly. Our commitment is to Christ in the church. We join together in the whole family of faith in praise and service to Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer

O Lord Jesus Christ, you died to save us. You stretched your arms on the cross to embrace the world and gather us as your people in the church. We rejoice! May we share our lives with others who love you—and with the world you love so deeply. Amen.

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