15 March 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?
19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. 22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?” (1 Corinthians 10:14-22; all scripture quoted is from the king James Version)
Families have traditionally eaten the evening meal (supper) together. It binds them into a closer unit in love and allegiance. It is the family, first, that is the building blocks of the Church and of the nation. If the families are strong in faith and love, the nation and church will be strong invincible to the wiles of the devil.
This devotion is not intended to be a thorough discussion of the Lord’s Supper, but simply to shed light on certain aspects of its spiritual power to us as believers. “The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.” (from Article 28 0f the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion).
What constitutes the Body of Christ – is it the bread of wheat or of spirit? Our Lord has used the term, BREAD, to symbolize the Word of God (which He is). The Church itself is built upon that strong foundation of the Word, and the Church is His Body of which He is the Head.
The Body of Christ is much like bread in that it is comprised of innumerable numbers of the elect just as bread is compounded from innumerable grains of wheat. Like the wheat in the making of bread, the individual Christian is crushed and dies to self. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24) Just as we die in Adam, we are made alive in Christ and produce fruit for the Master of the Vineyard. Just as bread is melded together to form an whole loaf, so are the numbers of Christians combined together in one faith to constitute the Church.
In the ancient Hebrew custom of betrothal of a young man and woman to marriage, both partake of the same cup of wine to seal the marriage covenant, so, too, the Church partakes of the same Cup that our Lord drank of in sealing our covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ as His Bride. But the Bread is representative of His Body, and His Body is the Church. What kind of family could we be if we fail to communicate at the table of our Lord. It is His Table and not an altar as some like to claim for an altar is made for sacrifice, but our sacrifice has already been made for our redemption at the brow of Golgotha. “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Hebrews 7:26-27) It is shocking to hear so many protestant churches refer to the Lord’s Table as an ‘Altar’ when there is no further sacrifice needed than that which has been made for us.
The Bread of the Communion Service, if it is to represent the same symbol of that bread our Lord shared in the Passover Service, must be unleavened (for the symbol should always conform to that which it symbolizes). Why is that even important? It is because leaven represents sin and false doctrine, and we certainly have enough false doctrine already being preached from the modern pulpits of America.
“Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. 7And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. 8Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? 9Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 10Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? 11How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:6-12)
If we are One with Christ, we must be One with each other in the faith, and that requires us to sup together as a family at the Lord’s Table.