A Pious Cocoon

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The apostle tells us to do whatever we do to the glory of God. We cannot really understand this unless we have been disciplined by His table. Whatever you eat, whatever you drink, he says, whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.

But this comes at the end of a detailed discussion of how we are to honor the table of the Lord. We cannot eat at two tables and avoid His covenant judgments. The point of learning to eat here is to teach us to spurn the food which the world offers. Like Daniel in Babylon, we are to reject the world’s dainties, and eat the Lord’s food only. But in doing this, all food becomes the Lord’s food, and we learn that the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.

But this comprehensive exuberence is not to be carnal offensiveness. Paul says to give no offense, whether to Jews, Gentiles, or to the church of God. We approach the Lord’s table, not seeking our own profit, but rather the profit of many. We are not to take the Lord’s supper looking in, but rather looking out.

In line with this, the elders have asked me to change the order of our service at this point. Instead of praying after the words of institution, which invites us all to close up into a pious cocoon, ignoring those others whose blessing we should be seeking by doing this, we want to thank our God beforehand. And then as we partake of the bread and wine, we want to ask you to keep your eyes open, looking to your brothers and sisters. We want to ask you to discern the body — look to the good of others, nourishing them as you eat. We want you to partake of the bread and wine this way because you have been made partakers together, joint-heirs, with the rest of His body.

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