Day 15: Community
But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Passover, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of the Lord at its appointed time. That man will bear his sin.
Observing the Passover was not optional. This is part of why it has been such a consistent vessel of truth throughout the generations. It was required that they present the offering, at the appointed time, as a community. It not only reminded them of God’s redemption, it bound them together as a people. Outsiders were not to participate, this was a ritual for God’s people alone.
Passover was also more family-based rather than a priest-based feast. While the lambs were taken to the temple to be slaughtered, they were consumed in the homes. The rituals were personalized, the children were instructed, the truths were passed on from father to children. Thus, both the community of nation and family were emphasized.
Similarly, there is a community element strongly present in our observance of the Lord’s Supper. The New Testament clearly shows that the early Church consistently celebrated this Supper together. Paul writes, “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of one loaf,” (1 Corinthians 10:17). Celebrating the Lord’s Supper is intended to be a symbol of our unity in Christ as we all participate in his sacrifice and consume his life together. In fact the word used in verse 16 is koinonia, which means to participate or share something with others.
• How does our culture’s rugged individualism affect our understanding of our unity in Christ?
• Do you sense any affect of rugged individualism in your life?
• When you’re taking communion, do you consider the fact that this is not just communion between you and the Lord, but with those around you?
• How does this jive with Jesus’ instruction to be sure we are in right relationship with one another before worshipping?
Lord, while the redemption you provided for me is very personal, help me to understand and experience more and more the corporate nature of salvation. Deepen my sense of participation with and responsibility to the whole of your Bride, whom you love with such a passion You gave your life for her. Help me not to neglect to gather with the Bride—not just in body, but in heart.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries