What does it mean to discern the Lord’s Body?
Paul discusses this in 1 Corinthians chapter 11.
In those days, Communion or the Lord’s Supper was a communal meal. Some had the meal on special days. Some broke bread in each other’s house every day. But it seems as if there was a subtle lack of love. People were eating gluttonously and selfishly and not focusing on Jesus. One should enjoy communion meals but Jesus is to be the reason for the festival. This was a bit like having Thanksgiving or Christmas parties and forgetting the reason for the party. A spiritual meal was being turned into mere partying. Worse, this gluttony was unloving. People would gobble up food and not share with others. So there was an evident lack of love. How can one be loving if one grabs all the good food and drink and ignore others who are also at the meal?
When we come together for Communion, or for any Christian gathering, we must remember that Jesus is the cause of us being joined together. We must remember we are brought together in love. Whether it is a communion wafer or a large feast, Christians are to lovingly consider each other. We must pray for each other, hold to each other, and remember that the bread broken for us represents Jesus’ body which was broken for us, that we might live in love for each other.
18First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it. 19But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!
20When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. 21For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. 22What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this!
23For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you.f Do this to remember me.” 25In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 26For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
27So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning againstg the body and blood of the Lord. 28That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. 29For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ,h you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. 30That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.
31But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. 32Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
33So, my dear brothers and sisters,i when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other. 1 Corinthians 11:18-33