Discerning the Body in the Lord's Supper
by J. Randal Matheny
Together with immersion, the Lord’s supper is recognized as one of the essential practices of the church of God.
So important is it that it’s improper observance brings judgment upon those who eat and drink.
As Paul concludes the correction of the abuses in the Corinthian church, he loads his final paragraph with terms of judgment and condemnation.
Eating the Lord’s supper, then, is a serious matter. We should do it right.
“For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Corinthians 11:29 ESV).
We have before us the right elements, bread and fruit of the vine.
We are assembled on the right day, the first day, the day of the Lord.
We are all assembled together, so that none is left behind or kept apart.
We are giving thanks to God and breaking the bread.
Let us now “discern” the body, giving “careful regard” (NET) to the meaning of the bread and the fruit of the vine. The bread is Christ’s body, the cup which we bless is the blood of the covenant.
Let us examine ourselves if we are paying attention to the significance of the act.
For we want to worship today not only in truth, but also in spirit.
With this understanding in the mind, let us pray.