bits from bob....

Communion Meditation: the Unity of the Body

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

As Jesus ate the Supper with his disciples, he said concerning the bread, "This is my body." What did he mean? Obviously, the bread was not his literal body. Later, Paul declares the church to be the body of Christ. The communion feast pictures the body of Christ (the church) taking in Christ's body (the bread). The body consumes the body; the body is consumed by the body. How does one explain this? While the body (the church) has many members, it is essentially one. This truth is declared each week in the Supper. We give up our individuality when we are baptized into the one body of Christ. We are one and the Lord's Supper is a reminder and celebration of our unity and oneness. What was formerly one loaf, representing the physical body of Christ, is now disbursed throughout the spiritual body as individual members partake. In the breaking and eating of the loaf, the body of Christ does not lose its oneness but finds it in new and fresh ways. The communion bread signals a new oneness as part of the body of Christ. In this Supper, we recommit ourselves to being one.


The communion is simple meal, the sort of meal any first century peasant could afford and enjoy. It is a humble meal, designed for a humble people. Although we may present the bread and juice in gold trays decorated with crosses, the original thought was to participate in the simplest, humblest, plainest meal possible. As we share this cup, let us recommit ourselves to God and commit to be people who are like the meal we share: simple, humble, and plain.


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Last updated July 27, 2010.