“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. You 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.” (1 Cor. 10:20-21)
One of the ways we keep the first commandment is by eating here together and refusing to partake of the tables of demons. But it is easy to believe that people don’t do this any more. True, there are not literal temples of demons that you can go to today and offer sacrifices in, but we have just as many false gods today as ever. For many, the shopping mall is a temple to the demons of greed, pride, and vain glory. While Paul goes on to say that the earth is the Lord’s, he says the point is that we may not have fellowship with those who serve those false gods. You may not go shopping as a servant of the god Vanity. For others, health, fitness, and nutrition are their gods. They serve the idol of immortality apart from God, life by diet deities. They are constantly going after the latest nutritional, dieting, or medical crazes. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to care for the bodies God has given us, the modern infatuation with food, nutrition, fitness, and health is nothing but idolatry. You cannot fellowship with those idols; you cannot eat of that table of demons and then come here and act as though you will not provoke the God of the universe to jealousy. And there are plenty of other idols: lust for power, greed for money, coveting your neighbor’s wife, car, or job, all of it is idolatry because it refuses to recognize that the Triune God rules over all of those things and gives and takes according to his good pleasure. The only response to God’s wisdom and power and glory is thankfulness, gladness, and joy. And that is what this table is. It is the Eucharist, the great thanksgiving. So come now and put all of your idols away. Determine now in humble reliance upon the grace of God to break down all idols in your life. To leave none of them standing and come and give thanks.