The Thought for the Week this week is written by Paul Sharkey

by Susie Jean Sharkey

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?

(1 Cor 10:16 RSV)


The word participation can also be translated as fellowship, sharing or communion. Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, seems to be trying to get the point over that we, in the Church, are joined together in a supernatural way: that, by sharing the bread at communion in our Churches, we are proclaiming to ourselves and to others that we are part of this body, the Church and in some way one with each other in this fellowship or communion. Paul goes on to elaborate on this in verse 17, by saying, “for, we all partake of one bread.” There is something, he is saying, that we all have in common.

Of course, the bread is the outward symbol of something that is spiritual. What Paul is really speaking of is the experience of knowing the revelation of Jesus Christ within us. In other words, true fellowship or communion is of a group of people who know this revelation of Jesus in our hearts. It's a real thing, but a supernatural one. You can't work it out in your head by reason, you've got to experience it to know it.

In the first part of verse 16 (above) gives a deeper insight into this wonder, “ The cup..., is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?” There we have it! The blood of Jesus Christ was shed to forgive sins. If you know the experience of sin forgiven, the wonderful (and continued) moment of being washed clean from our past and present sins, then you are in this fellowship, communion and participation.

No wonder the sharing of bread and wine on a Sunday morning is so important: Communion marks us as those who share the revelation of Jesus Christ in our hearts and the experience of personal forgiveness of sins. What a fellowship, indeed!