' Corpus Christi'

Sunday Reflection

14 June 2020

1 Corinthians 11:23-25

The name "Corpus Christi" is a Latin phrase that refers to the body of Christ.
The event commemorates the Last Supper on the day before Jesus' crucifixion.
Corpus Christi is primarily celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church,
but it is also included in the calendar of Anglican churches.
Symbols are important in our churches, even quite simple ones,
like pieces of bread and a cup of wine.
But these simple elements are representative of something much greater.

We are familiar with these symbols,
but it is quite probable that many of us have become overly familiar with them,
although at this time, many of us are really missing our church Holy Communion services.
It just doesn't seem the same doing it 'virtually' through the media!

Paul explained the establishing of the celebration in his first letter to the Corinthians

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you:
that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said,

"Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me."

In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying,

"This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me"

(1 Cor11:23-25).

One word that tends to get unnoticed in Jesus' words is one of the most important -
it is the word "broken."
The symbols that Jesus used to describe the great reality of His impending crucifixion
were symbols that were broken.
God created this world perfect in every way.
The earth itself was empty of any pollution and any corrosion.
In the original created order there were no earthquakes, or hurricanes.
There was only rich soil, clean air and water,
perfect vegetation and an absolutely pure atmosphere.
In the human realm there was no disease, no sickness and no death.
God created humankind to be perfectly healthy in every respect.
Morally, there was no hostility, or rebellion, or racism or discord in any way.

But when the first human couple rebelled against God by eating from the tree of knowledge,
God's perfect creation was broken, every part of it, the natural, human, animal,
and moral realms of creation were all affected.

It was like the proverbial house of cards that came crashing down.
Not only does Genesis record the fall of man,
but also the fall of the world in every single respect.

Jesus' celebration of the Lord's Supper was looking forward
to the day when God's broken world would be reconciled with God.
The broken symbols that we share in of are a reminder of the broken world in which we live,
and which Jesus came to heal.
As Jesus broke the bread and distributed it to His disciples,
He had in the mind the broken lives of every man, woman, and child that would ever live.

God's deepest desire is that the broken lives of today become the restored lives of tomorrow.
The Lord's Supper represents the broken body of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
It represents the agony and the pain -
Yes! But more than that, it represents the length
to which God is willing to go to restore the broken world
and the broken lives that live here.

The only way that God could heal the broken world
and our broken lives was by coming to earth Himself
and taking the punishment for our sins in our place.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

What a wonderful God we have.
Let us worship him with thankfulness and rejoicing,
looking forward to the time when we can share these two broken symbols of bread and wine,
fully mindful of what they represent.

The world is filled with broken things.
A child sobs over a broken toy.
An archaeologist gets enthusiastic over a broken jar.
A broken atom powers a city
but only God can make our broken lives whole again.