Read 1 Corinthians 11
Paul makes it clear there is a right way and a wrong way to take communion–the Lord’s Supper. But the division between right and wrong isn’t in the way it’s administered, like passing a plate or receiving it from a priest, having fresh bread and actual wine or Matzo crackers and Welch’s grape juice. The division between correct communion and incorrect communion is in the reverence and repentance with which you receive it. And Paul makes it clear there are real consequences, sickness and even death, for improperly taking communion.
When the Corinthian church would come together, their way of taking communion was to share a full meal together but in the style of the worst kind of potluck. Each person would bring their own meal for themselves, and if they got impatient waiting for the rest of the church to show up, they would just start digging in. Some people would have enough food to gorge themselves and enough wine to get wasted, while others barely had enough to call it a meal. While they were remembering the generosity and the service of Jesus, they were being selfish and stingy.
So in our modern context, we should learn from the mistakes of the Corinthians. When we have the opportunity to take communion, rather than hurrying to try to beat the post-church traffic, we should slow down and reflect on how communion is an opportunity to remember the work of Jesus and the promises that are in Him. We are holding in our hands a physical reminder of the most important event in all of human history. Recognize the weight and significance of what those simple, ordinary elements (the bread and the cup) represent. Judge yourself and ask God to make you repentant for sins you’ve committed against Him. Then joyfully partake in the work Christ has accomplished for you!
Pray God would give you respect and reverence for the work of Jesus and how it is symbolized in the elements of communion.