Summary: A seeker-aware exposition of the purpose for the sharing of communion
Why We Share Communion
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-29
A little girl asked her mother, “Mommy, why do you cut the ends off the meat before you cook it?”
The girl’s mother told her that she thought it added to the flavor by allowing the meat to better absorb the spices, but perhaps she should ask her grandmother since she always did it that way.
So the little girl found her grandmother and asked, “Grandma, why do you and Mommy cut the ends of the meat off before you cook it?”
Her grandmother thought a moment and answered, “I think it allows the meat to stay tender because it soaks up the juices better, but why don’t you ask your Nana? After all, I learned from her, and she always did it that way.”
The little girl was getting a little frustrated, but climbed up in her great-grandmother’s lap and asked, “Nana, why do you cut the ends off the meat before you cook it?”
Nana answered, “I had to; my cooking pot wasn’t big enough.”
We do a lot of things in life, and seldom stop to ask why. We develop habits and traditions, and if we’re not careful, we can forget why we do certain things...
Good morning. My name is Bob Hostetler, and I want to welcome you to Cobblestone Community Church,
a group of people that wants to be very intentional about making this a safe, warm, easy-to-enter place to worship God and learn more about following Christ.
So, we’re gonna end up doing things quite differently from the way many churches do them. We’re willing to do some crazy things to reach out to people and love them into life-changing encounters with God.
Not that everything we do is different. We still do some things like other churches, and one of those is sharing communion together on a regular basis.
Here at Cobblestone, we make communion available every month, and once a quarter include this habit of sharing bread and grape juice together as part of our Sunday morning celebration.
But we wanna be careful to explain why we do what we do, so that even someone who’s new to Cobblestone or to the Christian faith might understand completely.
So . . . why do we celebrate communion?
Why do we take itty bitty portions of
grape juice and crackers together?
What’s THAT about?
Good question. So, for the next few moments, before we do this thing, let me explain. And, in order to do so, let me ask you to turn in your Bible
to the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians,
the seventh book of the New Testament,
where we’ll look at chapter 11, verses 23-29. . . .
You’ll find it on p. 797 of the Bibles
we provide for your use
either under the chairs
or by the railing on your way in . . .
Bibles which, by the way, we hope you’ll feel free to take with you if you don’t have a Bible of your own,
with our compliments,
as our gift . . .
So, let’s get started. First, the reason we have this symbolic “meal” together is . . .
1. To Remember
Look at verses 23-25:
The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me" (1 Corinthians 11:23-25, NIV).
Paul is describing the last supper, of course, and interestingly, at his last supper:
A. Jesus interpreted something old
Jesus was interpreting the Passover meal
Ex. 12 describes the 1st Passover, which included:
• a lamb
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed (1 Corinthians 5:7, NIV).
• pure bread, called “unleavened”
• wine, though not specified in Ex. 12, was a part of the meal
B. Jesus instituted something new
A ceremony that quickly came to be celebrated in the church much more regularly than the annual Passover
2. To Rejoice
Look at verse 26:
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes (1 Corinthians 11:26, NIV).
Not just a looking back, but a pointing forward also:
when we share communion, we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”
As at Easter: “He is risen/He is risen indeed,”
So in communion: “He died for you/He died for you”
3. To Repent
Look at verse 27-28:
Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup (1 Corinthians 11:27-28, NIV).