The Lord’s Supper
17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.
23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.
33 So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another— 34 if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home—so that when you come together it will not be for judgment. About the other things I will give directions when I come.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (1 Co 11:17–34). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Church Family: Family Celebrations
Paul was not only concerned about the worship of things other than God happening among the Corinthian Christians, he was also upset by the way they they were worshiping and celebrating the grace of God.
Holy Communion is about celebrating Jesus and His love for us. It is also about celebrating the way God brings us together and makes us one. To Paul, there was no difference between talking about the body of Christ and the Christians in community. For him, it was not about the type of bread they used or how it was distributed, it was about dividing up the church between the rich and the poor. Holy Communion - which they celebrated in homes over meals, was becoming a status show where certain guests were given better food and the less appreciated members of the church were given whatever was left over. They were using worldly status divisions to create divisions within the Body of Christ. That was turning Holy Communion, the celebration of Christian unity in Christ, into a celebration of worldly division in the church - profaning that which was most sacred.
We face the same challenges in our families as well. Celebrations can bring us together or pull us apart. Following Christ will bring us together for the right reasons. Doing what is easy and convenient or more popular will always end up tearing families apart at the end. You’ve probably seen this at weddings and funerals. Those who follow and show the grace of God can mend divisions, while those who try to fix things usually end up with even more division when all is said and done.
Reflection: What family celebrations bring your family closer? What celebrations have been challenging for your family? How is God calling you to let Him lead your family celebrations and bring people together.
Trying to hear the music in the din of many voices.
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