7 February, 2023

Sharing a Meal, Sharing a Life

by | 23 January, 2023

By Doug Redford 

Not long ago, a newspaper article carried this headline: “Why God Is Good at Frisch’s.” The writer observed how restaurants like Frisch’s Big Boy have always been places for people to get together and “connect”—places where people go when they need a friend to help them get through a rough spot. 

He described a conversation he overheard at a Frisch’s one evening. Two older women were talking; one of them admitted that she needed to follow through on her doctor’s orders and take better care of herself. “I just need to do it,” she said. “Anyway,” she continued after a long sigh, “God is good.” “God is good,” her friend repeated. The writer then observed how rare it is to hear such conversations these days. 

Church is another place where such honest conversations ought to happen, but perhaps don’t occur with the regularity they should. How often have people entered a church building with all kinds of “stuff” going on in their lives—personal issues or problems at home or at work? Yet these good people don’t feel church is an appropriate place to talk about such matters. No, it’s easier just to mask everything and act as though all is well when it isn’t.  

When Paul expressed his concerns to the Corinthian church about their mishandling of the Lord’s Supper, he called attention to the way their practices were fracturing the sense of unity central to the Supper. “There are divisions among you,” he noted (1 Corinthians 11:18). “Some of you go ahead with your own private suppers,” he wrote (v. 21). 

Taking Communion is a very personal matter; “everyone ought to examine themselves” before partaking, Paul instructed (v. 28). But this is also a shared meal, a “family dinner.” The word Communion (used in 1 Corinthians 10:16 and rendered as “participation” in the New International Version) is the Greek word koinonia, often defined as “common life.” Taking the koinonia of Communion should be accompanied by “giving koinonia” to those brothers and sisters who need the encouragement that believers are instructed to provide to one another (Hebrews 10:25). The former happens weekly; the latter should happen daily—in any number of settings where we can remind one another, “God is good.” 

Doug Redford has served in the preaching ministry, as an editor of adult Sunday school curriculum, and as a Bible college professor. Currently he is the minister at Highview Christian Church in Cincinnati. 


Latest Articles

Ministry Help Wanted

Versailles (IN) Church of Christ is seeking a full-time minister, and IDES is hiring for several positions. Plus more.


By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

CCLF Concluding Strong First Year in Greater Cincinnati

In its first full year, the Christian Church Leadership Foundation has accomplished much to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people in the Greater Cincinnati area.

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.