Monday, October 8, 2018

Examine Yourself

Yesterday being the first Sunday of the month was Communion Sunday in many churches. It's a time during the service where the Lord's Supper is celebrated and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 is read to provide a framework around this symbolic meal.

As this passage was read recently, the phrase "let a man examine himself" resonated with me. It stopped me in my tracks and forced me to take a more in-depth look at myself. I had to take time to examine myself, to self-reflect. There is a thoughtfulness to my approach.  When I understand the significance of this meal, I am grateful. Though solemn, it's a celebration, not a funeral.

Let a man examine himself. This phrase was said in the context of partaking in a ceremonial meal that represented something sacred and holy - the Lord's Supper; A Love Feast; a fellowship with no sense of rush. A unifying event. Though God says to come as you are a heart examination needs to take place in order to partake. We are encouraged to understand the reasons for the Lord's Supper and its implications for us.



I grew up in a denomination that celebrated the Lord's Supper every Sunday. In order not to partake without knowing the reason - unworthily, there was always a quiet time for self-reflection before administering the bread and wine. This time seemed to be the most essential part of the service which in my family carried over and set the atmosphere for the remainder of the week. On Saturday evenings there was always a time to reflect in preparation for Sunday. This was all I knew, but it served me well for it wasn't done in an overbearing manner, but instead, it was organic - a reflection of how my parents tried to live. It made a significant impact on me as a child that has stayed with me.

It is because of this regular self-examination that I'm confident of Whose I am and who I am.
This is not a casual examination, but crucial because if done casually leads to condemnation. It is a private examination not for public consumption. What does it mean to eat and drink in an unworthy manner? It is to not grasp that Someone sacrificed their life for you. With this in mind, we are encouraged to reconcile with each other before participation. We are encouraged to forgive and resolve disputes often so that they don't hinder our walk. In practical terms, if you're sitting next to someone and you're not speaking to them, you probably shouldn't participate in the Lord's Supper. Instead, as soon as you can resolve your differences so that you don't bring further condemnation to yourself.

This Christian life is one of examination and reflection especially when we realize the implication of us being who we are because Someone loved us greatly. We are redeemed people because of His sacrifice. This thinking carries over into every area of life. Examine yourself.  Examination prevents fraud, prevents confusion, prevents pride, anger, bitterness; creates a vulnerability with God and others which allows for greater displays of love. Self-examination has a positive ripple effect.

That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.
But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.1 Corinthians 11:28-31 [NLT]


Examine yourself in the light of God's word and who He says you are. Examine yourself so that you can know. 


--Nylse

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4 comments:

  1. I try to take Communion everyday or as often as I can, even during a partial fast. We have to proclaim His death until He comes. I know the only way we are worthy is by Him, it is good to reflect but not be afraid of it as I know some people are. We must realize the blood covered sin and His body our health, that's why people are sick or sleeping, (dead). Communion does bring healing if you understand it, it does need to be taught. When I was younger I would have been afraid I had done something wrong, and it was a once a month event. Thanks, for this Nylse, great reminder.

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  2. So thankful that God has given us the Lord's supper to remind us of His love and faithfulness to us. And, really, we should examine ourselves each day to be sure we are putting Him first. Thanks for this good reminder for us. Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor at #TrekkingThru.

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  3. Good post. I do agree that it is important to self-reflect before taking the bread and wine for communion or else there is no point in partaking in communion.

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  4. The Christian life is one of examination and reflection, Nylse. And I believe God is such a part of this time we set aside. Grateful to be a part of a church where this is an important weekly blessing.

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