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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.”—1 Corinthians 10:17 (NIV)
I grew up in a church in England, with stained glass windows, arched ceilings, and a feeling of history. The church had stones in the walls that told us of the pastors that had served there for a hundred years. We spoke our prayers aloud and engaged in traditions that moved our hearts to remembrance.
For communion, we would all stand and form an orderly queue (which in America is called a line), and in turn we would walk to the front. Then a piece of bread would be broken off a loaf and placed in our hands. We’d hear the words, “Jesus’ body, broken for you,” and hearts would align with what was being given to us.
Everyone who partook in communion received a piece of bread from the same loaf. This is the picture painted in today’s passage from Corinthians. Though we are many—each uniquely fashioned by God with various gifts, personalities, talents, and purpose—we all receive from the same loaf, Christ, and He unites us fully.
When I think back to standing in the queue for communion, I reflect on how different we all were. There were probably some who were drifting away from God, some who were bitter, some who were overflowing with joy, some who had read their Bible every day for a year, and still others who hadn’t touched their Bible for a year.
We often think these things affect our standing before God—how He sees us and His thoughts towards us—but God says we are united with Christ, dressed in His righteousness, and when He sees us, He is pleased. He calls us, accepts us, and bids each one of us to come and eat.
God knows we all arrive in need and that He is the only One who satisfies. This is the truth that unites us: Whether we’re in the darkest night of our soul or joyfully delighting in His splendor, we approach God with an equal need. Without Him we are all truly lost.
So now when we come to the altar or the communion table, or when we walk through the doors of the church, we arrive as family. We sit down as brothers and sisters of Christ, united and one in Him, partakers of His gospel together (Philippians 1:7).
DIG: Think about the ways in which Christ has been your manna, your daily bread, your satisfier. Bring to remembrance the ways in which He has sustained you this week.
DISCOVER: Come to the Father in prayer, asking Him to reveal the areas of need in our hearts and lives, that we would come and receive.
DISPLAY: Make a point to meet someone new at church this week. Share your testimony in Christ so others might see how God knits hearts together as one.
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