There is a fair amount happening today, apart from the Olympics — and there will need to be another post on all that. Because we need to talk about the need for divisions and separation, and how that is dealt with in communion.
The communion is a fulfilment of the passover meal. As the passover meal had regulations and ordinances, so does communion. These things matter to God, and they should matter therefore to us.
43 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat it; 44 but as for every slave that someone has purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. 45 A stranger or a hired worker shall not eat it. 46 It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring any of the meat outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. 47 All the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this. 48 But if a stranger resides with you and celebrates the Passover to the Lord, all of his males are to be circumcised, and then he shall come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised male may eat it. 49 The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who resides among you.”
50 Then all the sons of Israel did so; they did just as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51 And on that very day the Lord brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt according to their multitudes.
13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the firstborn of every womb among the sons of Israel, among people and animals alike; it belongs to Me.”
27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy way, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But a person must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For the one who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not properly recognize the body. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number are asleep. 31 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 If anyone is hungry, have him eat at home, so that you do not come together for judgment. As to the remaining matters, I will give instructions when I come.
When we meet together in worship and recieve the sacrament we need to distinguish that it is a reminder of the Lord’s body broken for us, and his blood shed for us. We don’t need to get bogged down in transubstantiation, but if we do not distinguish this we break the unity of the brotherhood: communion becomes optional, or we end up thinking a meal can replace this sacrament. I’m quoting Calvin here
He adds the reasons because they distinguish not the Lord’s body, that is, as a sacred thing from a profane. "They handle the sacred body of Christ with unwashed hands, (Mark 7:2,) nay more, as if it were a thing of nought, they consider not how great is the value of it. They will therefore pay the penalty of so dreadful a profanation." Let my readers keep in mind what I stated a little ago, that the body is presented to them, though their unworthiness deprives them of a participation in it…
After having treated in a general way of unworthy eating, and of the kind of punishment that awaits those who pollute this sacrament, he now instructs the Corinthians as to the chastisement which they were at that time enduring. It is not known whether a pestilence was raging there at that time, or whether they were laboring under other kinds of disease. However it may have been as to this, we infer from Paul’s words, that the Lord had sent some scourge upon them for their correction. Nor does Paul merely conjecture, that it is on that account that they are punished, but he affirms it as a thing that was perfectly well known by him. He says, then, that many lay sick — that many were kept long in a languishing condition, and that many had died, in consequence of that abuse of the Supper, because they had offended God. By this he intimates, that by diseases and other chastisements from God, we are admonished to think of our sins; for God does not afflict us without good reason, for he takes no pleasure in our afflictions.
There has been a fair amount of friction among the Catholics lately because the traditional (tridentine) latin mass is being taken from them by regulation from this antipope. I can understand their distress, though I have difficulties with that liturgy — in part because I can read Latin, and I find the prayers syncretic. To someone who has been to AngloCatholic services this is idiotic — you have the high church services and the low church services. Both worship God. The unity is in the worship, and in the obedience to the commands we were given.
But to the modern progressives all this does not matter. We shall have their modern revised versions, that have the form of Godliness but not the power, and we will have nothing else.
And we wonder why the church fails, and its rulers are corrupt.
How we worship matters to God. Not on the peripheral issues, but on the substance. We need to continually recall that Christ Died for me, a sinner.
And praise God for his mercy.