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1 Cor 10:14-22

1 Cor. 10:14-22

14Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. 18Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s Table and of the table of demons. 22Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

1. Where does St Paul place the Eucharist among the categories of activities?

In his exhortation to the Corinthians to flee idol worshipping, St. Paul brings in the Eucharistic liturgy as his main reason why they shouldn’t participate in idol worship. In the verse 22: “or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?” he is referring to the first commandment which speaks of worshipping God and only God. He places the Eucharist among the worship activities of both the idol-worshipping Gentiles and the God-worshipping Old Testament church. So, the Eucharistic liturgy is the highest form of worship for the believers.

2. “The Eucharist is a powerful agent of unity” according to St Paul, uniting the partaker to: 1…, 2…, and 3…

The Eucharist unites the partaker to Christ: “the communion of the blood of Christ… the communion of the body of Christ”. The Eucharist unites the partakers to each other: “we, though many, are one bread and one body.” And unites the partaker to the altar: “are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?”

3. The “table of the Lord” is also compared to 1… & 2…

St. Paul compared the Eucharistic table to the altar of idols: “you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and the table of demons,” and the altar of the Old Testament: “observe Israel after the flesh: are not those who eat of the sacrifices partake of the altar?”

4. What implied names St Paul gives to the Eucharist?

He compares the Eucharist to the sacrifices of both the Israelites in the Old Testament and the Gentiles in their idol worshipping. He implies then, that the Eucharist is the true, perfect sacrifice. Later the fathers of the second century, like Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, would speak of the Eucharist as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Malachi 1:11 “’For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations,’ says the Lord of hosts.”