July 20, 2007

Taking Christ "In"

1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:23-26

"Take and eat; this is my body." ... "Drink ... This is my blood of the covenant." Matthew 26:26-28


There is a picture offered at the communion table. The picture is that if you participate in communion, you are in some way "taking Christ in" and making him a part of you. The very idea of symbolically "eating and drinking" the body and blood of Christ says something about being united with him. "Christ in us" provides the nourishment to live and grow in our relationship with God.

There is mystery here, of course, and different churches have taught different things about participating in Christ's body and blood. Although it's good to be aware of those differences, we need to know that God wants more from us than having a right theology on the details of the process. God wants us to experience being connected to him. Since that happens through Jesus, God calls us at the communion table to be "united with Christ." When our spirits are united with Christ's Spirit, the fight against sin takes on a whole new dimension.

Of course, physically taking the bread and wine inside us is not what makes the difference. It's having the faith that reaches out to God and receives Christ. And in that process we discover something important. "We, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf." Communion connects me with Christ--and with other members of his body. One Lord; one faith; one body. It's what God made us for.

Lord, at times we mistake what you intend. Help us to know your call to communion as an invitation to union with Christ and with your people. For Jesus' sake, Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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