March 18, Saturday

The AMI QT Devotionals from March 13-20 are provided by Pastor Jason Sato of OTR in Cincinnati.  Jason, a graduate of UC San Diego (B.S.) and Westminster Theological Seminary in California (M.Div.), is married to Jessica, and they have two young children: Jonah and Lily. 


Fellowship Meals

1 Corinthians 10:16-22 (ESV)

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? [17] Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. [18] Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? [19] What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? [20] No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. [21] You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. [22] Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.  Whether this is sound dating advice or not, we understand that sharing a meal is about much more than counting calories or satisfying hunger.  Birthday parties, weddings, and many other events are purposely scheduled at meal times because food is intimately connected with relationships.

Now, meals are important not only to humans, but also to God.  In our passage this morning, the apostle Paul explains that the Lord’s Supper is not simply a ritual or a memorial service for our Savior who is far away in heaven.  It is an active participation in the body and blood of Jesus.  The Lord’s Supper involves real, immediate communion or fellowship with God Himself.

Sharing a meal with God is not a new idea; it is found throughout the Scriptures.  In Leviticus, the Israelites are given instructions for five major types of offerings.  One of these, the peace offering, involves a fellowship meal.  The offeror invites his friends and family to join him in eating the peace offering in the temple.  In this way, the people of God not only eat in God’s house but, in effect, also enjoy a meal with God Himself.

In the New Testament, Jesus is always eating: he goes to weddings, eats with tax collectors and sinners, and miraculously feeds the 5,000.   Shortly after resurrecting, the Lord appears to his disciples and asks for something to eat.  Later, near the sea of Tiberius, we find him preparing breakfast for his men.

God loves to eat with His people because meals are a means of connection and relationship.  This is why eating in pagan temples is so serious.  The Lord has abolished all food restrictions.  Idols are nothing.  Thus, Paul is gravely concerned that the Corinthians might have fellowship with some spirit other than the Spirit of Christ.

We may not be tempted to participate in pagan feasts, but morning by morning do we fellowship with Jesus or with “spirits” of social media and careerism (e.g., checking daily planner, not God’s Word)?  During our lunch breaks, do we eat with Jesus or with spirits of entitlement and envy?  In the evenings, do we feast with Jesus or with spirits of sensuality and more social media?  Throughout the day, Jesus is calling us to connect with Him—to hear Him speak and rest in His presence.  May we hear the invitation of the Lord and feast at His table alone.

Prayer: Father, I thank You that You love to fellowship with Your children.  There is no reason that the Maker of Heaven and Earth would delight in me, yet You constantly call me to Yourself.  May I delight in the table of Jesus alone.

Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 6-7


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