Examining yourself (especially before Communion)
"A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the
bread and drinks of the cup." 1 Corinthians 11:28 (NIV)
A pad of paper, a pen and a stethoscope (a toy one will do)
(Select a volunteer to help you.) Boys and girls, Billy here forgot to get his back-to-school physical exam,
so we’re going to take care of that today. (Select another helper and give her the pen and paper.) Here,
Sarah, would you take notes, please?
Alright, first we’ll check your pulse… (Put two fingers on his wrist.) Oh, good: you’ve got a pulse. Write
down, “Pulse good.” Now your blood pressure... (Put stethoscope on inside of elbow.) OK, you have blood
pressure. Write down, “Blood pressure good.” Alright, Billy, turn around and face the back and we'll’check
your lungs. (Put stethoscope on his back.) OK, you’re breathing. That’s always a good sign. Write down,
“Lungs good.” And finally, turn back around and we’ll check your eyesight. (Hold up your thumb.) How
many fingers do I have up? One? No, I’m sorry, but it’s not a finger; it’s a thumb. Write down, “Needs
OK, Billy, except for needing glasses you’re all ready for school.
Well, boys and girls, you’ve all had physical examinations before, haven’t you? But did you know the Bible
says we’re supposed to give ourselves spiritual examinations, too? Right here in 1 Corinthians 11:28
Paul says, “A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.” In other
words, check to see that your attitude is good, and your thoughts are Christian thoughts. For instance, if
you’re angry with someone, forgive them.
And when he says, “bread and the cup”, he’s talking about Communion. He’s saying that before you take
Communion you should examine yourself to make sure your heart is in the right place: with God. You
see, the bread is a symbol of Jesus’ body, and the wine is a symbol of His blood. And Paul says this in
verse 27: “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of
sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.”
So it’s pretty important that we give ourselves a spiritual examination every once in a while, don’t you
think? Me, too. And that’s something we should pray about: Father in Heaven, help us to remember to
examine ourselves spiritually to make sure our heart is in the right place and that we’re guided by Your
Holy Spirit. We ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Song: “Cleanse Me” (Also known as “Search Me, O God”)
Copyright © 2009 Steven Rudolph. All rights reserved.