By Mark Grace, CCCNZ Ambassador
1 Corinthians 10:16
Ko te kapu whakapainga e whakapai nei tatou, ehara koia i te inu tahi i nga toto o te Karaiti? Ko te taro e whatiwhatia nei e tatou, ehara ianei i te kai tahi i te tinana o te Karaiti?
O le ipu o le fa‘afetai ‘ua tatou fa‘afetai ai, e lē o le mafuta fa‘atasi ‘ea lea i le toto o Keriso? O le areto ‘ua tatou tofitofiina, e lē o le mafuta fa‘atasi ‘ea lea i le tino o Keriso?
Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?
Paul asks two direct questions about communion and our connection to Christ in it. His questions are rhetorical and the answer is obvious. Yes. Yes, the cup is a participation in the blood of Christ. Yes, the bread we break is participation in the body of Christ.
When we take communion by faith our connection with Christ is especially close. The word participation is the Greek word koinonia, fellowship. Fellowship here is more than 'cups of tea' after the service; it's a profoundly costly mutual commitment to one another.
By God’s grace, through faith, the cup we hold is a fellowship with Christ and the blessings and benefits of his blood shed for us at the cross.
By God’s grace, through faith, the bread we break is fellowship with the body of Christ and the blessings and benefits of his body given for us at the cross.
By God’s grace, through faith, Christ applies the benefits and blessings of the gospel to us as individual Christians and as a community.
It is no wonder, then, that gratitude and gratefulness are to characterise communion. I sometimes struggle to comprehend God’s grace to me in Jesus. It is a privilege and a pleasure to regularly reflect on who Christ is, and what he has does for us as a church family, in and through communion.