Bread & Wine: the Body of Christ United

—1 Corinthians 11:17–34

  • Andrew Fountain – June 14, 2020

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To explore the richness of breaking bread together,
especially as an expression of unity.

Plan for today

  1. The Seven Reasons for Breaking Bread
  2. The Importance of Shared Meals
  3. One Body in Christ

Named in the Bible

breaking bread 12
the Lord’s table 1
the Lord’s supper 1
love feast 1
communion/participation 1
eucharist (thanks) 0

A. Seven Reasons for Breaking Bread

  1. Look backwards as we remember Jesus’s death
  2. Proclaim what he has done as a witness to others
  3. Demonstrate our unity in Christ
  4. Celebrate that our sins are washed away
  5. Obtain a blessing as by faith we receive the benefits of Christ’s death
  6. Picture of depending on Jesus for sustenance
  7. Look forwards to feasting with Christ in glory

Plan for today

  1. The Seven Reasons for Breaking Bread
  2. The Importance of Shared Meals
  3. One Body in Christ

Shared Meals in Ancient Times

  • Eating together ➜ public symbol of friendship
  • In Ancient times, the Covenant meal ➜ after making a covenant, the two parties would eat together

Old Testament Shared Meals

  • Exodus 12: The Passover Meal
  1. “This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.
  • Exodus 24: A Supernatural Meal
  1. Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up,
  2. and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.
  3. And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

Matthew 9
Jesus shocks people

  1. As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax booth.
    “Follow me,” he said to him. And he got up and followed him.
  2. As Jesus was having a meal in Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Jesus and his disciples.
  3. When the Pharisees saw this they said to his disciples,
    “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Acts 2 - The Early Church

  1. And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
  2. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
  3. And all who believed were together and had all things in common.
  4. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
  5. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

Pliny (Roman governor)

  • Wrote to the Emperor Trajan less than 100 years after Christ
  • Confused about Christians and asks Emperor for advice
  • “it was their custom to disperse and to come together again to partake of food, of an ordinary and harmless kind”

Today, new science supports this

  • The Vagus Nerve connects the brain to the whole of the body and regulates stress or relaxation
  • The process of eating makes our bodies send a message to our brains to be more open to social interaction
  • So meals put our brains into social mode

Plan for today

  1. The Seven Reasons for Breaking Bread
  2. The Importance of Shared Meals
  3. One Body in Christ

Jesus’ prayer in John 17

  1. The glory you gave to me I have given to them,
    that they may be one
        just as we are one
  2.     I in them and you in me,
    that they may be perfectly one,
    so that the world will know that you sent me,

1 Corinthians 10

  1. The cup of blessing that we bless,
      is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?
    The bread that we break,
      is it not a participation in the body of Christ?
  2. Because there is one bread,
      we who are many are one body,
    for we all partake of the one bread.

1 Corinthians 11:17–34

Why was this so serious

  • It attacks the very mission of the church:
  • that they may be perfectly one,
    so that the world will know that you sent me,
  • This is why Jesus hates it when Christians fight
  • If there is one thing Satan loves to do it is to set Christians against each other
  • “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Eph 4:26–27

What can we do?

  1. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28) Live this out!
  2. Be slow to anger amd do not judge the heart
    Assume good intentions:
    Do not assume you know why someone does or says something
  3. Eat together

1 Corinthians 13 – Live by these words

  1. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
  2. or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
  3. it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
  4. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.