MY BODY, MY BLOOD
Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 11
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Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 11:26
For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
Partaking of the emblems of the body and blood of Christ is not an option which we may or may not exercise. It’s an order! Paul says, “Do this!” (11:24b). Remembering Christ’s death and resurrection is of vital importance (11:25).
Let’s look at the positive aspects of Paul’s teaching regarding “hair.” Women in the Corinthian Church were taking advantage of their new-found freedom in Christ and they were praying and prophesying in public gatherings. Good! But some appeared to be flaunting social convention by what would’ve been considered in the culture of that time and place as inappropriate and distracting. We are informed by cultural historians that at that time in Greece, only the prostitutes were seen in public with their hair uncovered. For Christian women to disregard this would have hurt their testimony. However, Paul was not making this an order as he did with remembering the Lord’s Supper. He assures those of us who live in other cultures and at other times that we are not bound to these social practices of Corinth. “Contentious” people will make a big issue of hair styles even today. “We have no such custom, nor do the churches of God” (11:16).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I thank You for Your death and resurrection which I remember daily in my personal devotions, and also, without fail, together with my local congregation. Help me, I pray, that I will discern (understand fully) the depth of Your love and provision for me in Your Cross. I ask for health, physical strength, and length of days which come to me as a result. In Your strong Name I pray. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
As a boy I heard a certain minister called a “clothesline” preacher. His special interest seemed to be the way women dressed. I was not impressed. It seemed to be a superfluous, relatively unimportant issue. Nevertheless, this still seems to be an issue with some. The prohibitions of the religion of Islam are a case in point (the burka). That’s the ridiculous extreme. This story I’m about to share may be fictitious, but here goes…
A preacher titled his message, “Top Knot Come Down.” He wanted the women to take the bun in which their hair was gathered on top of their heads, which he saw as an evidence of worldly pride, and move the bun down to the back of their heads. His text was taken from Jesus’ words as recorded in Matthew 24:17, “Let him who is on the housetop not come down.” This story illustrates for me how unwise it is to take temporary cultural expressions and insist that they be followed always. I’ve asked my sons to find a photo of a very religious Jew in Jerusalem who rigidly follows a dress code which originated sometime in the middle ages in a remote village of Eastern Europe. I think about these things and want to make sure I don’t get caught in such a trap.
Yours for a fuller understanding of God’s Word in a constantly shifting culture,