1 Corinthians 10:16-18
1Co 10:16 The cup of praise that we speak so well of, is it not a sharing of the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing of the body of Christ?
1Co 10:17 Because it is one loaf, the many of us are one body, because we all have a share of that one loaf.
1Co 10:18 Look at ethnic Israel. Are not the ones who eat the sacrifices sharers of the altar?
grace at the table
Paul is still responding to the question as to whether it is appropriate for Christians to eat meat that has been sacrificed to idols. He had conceded that there is nothing wrong with the meat itself, and that the “gods” people are worshipping are not really gods. But he makes the case that Christians should not knowingly eat of those sacrifices because those who do so are part of another culture — a different one.
Christians share a common culture, and we celebrate our mutual identity each time we participate in the communion. When we praise God for the shed blood of Christ we are sharing in that sacrifice. When we break the bread we are participating in that sacrifice, just as the ethnic Israelites did when they shared in the temple sacrifices. To share in the sacrifice bonds the worshipper to the deity being worshipped. It is a celebration of God’s grace that meets us at our point of need.
LORD, thank you for your grace, and for giving us a tangible way of celebrating that grace each time we come to your table.