November 19, 2022

You Are What You Eat

1 Corinthians 10:14-17

Is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?

—  1 Corinthians 10:16

Have you heard the expression “You are what you eat”? What does that really mean?

When someone says this, they are generally talking about nutri­tion: if we eat good, nutritious food, our bodies will be healthier than if we eat a lot of non-nutritious junk food.

When he gave us the Lord’s Supper, Jesus taught that this meal was his “body” and his “blood.” So if we follow the ­logic of becoming what we eat, we might say that we become more like him when we eat the Jesus-bread and drink the Jesus-juice. That’s because when we participate in this meal, we reflect on Jesus’ self-giving sacrifice and we seek to live as he calls us to, showing God’s love everywhere and sharing the good news of salvation through Christ.

Another important aspect of this meal is that we eat it together, in community as one body. In its basic practice, the Jesus-meal teaches us the ­basics of how to be a Christian community.

We receive the bread and juice from pastors and elders and perhaps fellow church members. This helps us learn how to receive God’s gift of grace in community. Sharing the food and drink with one another, we learn to share God’s grace with one another. In a real and miraculous sense, then, through this meal we are becoming ever more the body of Christ. We are what we eat.

Lord, by your grace and the power of your Spirit, may we become your feet, hands, mouth, and body to serve the world, that the world may know your love. Amen.

About the author — Kristopher Walhof

Kristopher Walhof is a minister in the Christian Reformed Church who lives with his wife and seven-year-old son in rural Kenya. He teaches Bible and theology courses to theological students seeking ordination in the Africa Inland Church (AIC) denomination.

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