I’ve mentioned that I’m reading Radical Restoration by F. LaGard Smith. What a book of questions this is! I know it may not be for everyone, because it does speak to, and question specifically, the particular practices within the Church of Christ groups. Not to say it wouldn’t have value for others, since each denomination shares many practices, to some degree or another.
One subject, the first he really addresses in Part II of the book, has been of huge interest to me for quite a while. The Lord’s Supper.
Here is a quote from the book, you may need to read it several times (he suggests that, actually, in the book).
Christ’s spiritual body (the church) came together to “break bread” …in which the bread was symbolic of Jesus’ body …which, in turn, was symbolic of Christ’s spiritual body…which was not to be broken as it was being broken by the manner in which they were participating!
Smith was referring to where Paul’s wrote, “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord”.
Whether then or now, division in the body desecrates the unity in Christ’s body which the “one loaf” is supposed to symbolize.
He also writes that Jesus said,
“This is my body, which is [offered] for you” -not “That represents my broken body.”
I know we often say when about to “partake of the Lord’s Supper” that the bread represents Christ’s body that was broken for us, but was it broken, or was it offered?
So does breaking the bread really mean “breaking Christ’s body” or is the “breaking” important? It may be that in “breaking” the bread, we should rather view it as “offering” it.
I don’t mean to complicate all this in my mind, as it may appear with what I write. What Jesus said is actually pretty simple if we can pull together what else He has called His body. Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is My body”.
Jesus offered it, shared it, gave it. Did He break it? It seems as though he broke it in order that He could share it. Was that for distributive purposes only? Was His body really broken? I don’t know all the ins and outs, but it is interesting.
But, maybe all the thinking and wondering and figuring isn’t all that important. Jesus gave us His body, and we can now share that as brothers and sisters. What communion that is.
I’m sure anyone who reads this will have a better understanding of this, so share if you dare.