If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Exodus 7, Luke 10, Job 24, 1 Corinthians 11. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read 1 Corinthians 11.
In the early days of the church, God’s people observed the Lord’s Supper as part of a larger common meal. Our Fellowship Feast was originally designed to mirror this ancient practice. Remember that, in those days, Sunday was a work day, so the church’s worship meeting typically happened in the evening after the work day was over with the meal and Lord’s Supper being elements of the church’s weekly gathering. The Corinthians, however, were not thoughtful in how they observed the Lord’s Supper. For many of them, it was a party that centered on their own private consumption rather than a family activity for all the people of God. They would eat when they wanted and as much as they wanted to eat without regard for anyone else. You can see this in verse 21 which refers to “your own private suppers” and tells us that “one person remains hungry and another gets drunk.” There were members of the Corinthian church who were slaves (see 1 Cor 7:21). As slaves, they had to finish their work and prepare meals for their masters as well as clean up after those meals before they could come to the church’s meeting. When they arrived, the wealthier members had already eaten everything, so they not only missed dinner but they missed the church family’s observance of the Lord’s Supper. This was abusive to the poorer members of the Corinthian church as we see in verse 22b which says, “Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing?”
Paul’s instructions in this chapter are designed to get the Corinthians to think reverently about the Lord’s Supper and to warn them about abusing others in the church through their selfish indulgence at the expense of others. The proper way to observe the Lord’s Supper is that “you should all eat together” (v. 33). This ordnance gives us an opportunity to both remember Jesus and to share something in common with everyone else in our church’s family. Although we do not observe the Lord’s Supper in the same way that the Corinthians did, we still should examine ourselves (vv. 28-29) before we come to the Lord’s table. Part of this examination should be considering how we’ve treated other people in God’s family who are part of our church’s fellowship. Have we abused or humiliated, even unintentionally, others within the local body that we call Calvary Bible Church? Have we tried to be thoughtful in how we’ve treated each other? By the way: one of the reasons we collect a benevolence offering when we observe the Lord’s supper is to have something to share with those who are in need in our church family. While not the only way, it is one way in which the Lord’s supper helps us to consider and include those in our church who may have needs. Hope you join us this Sunday night as we worship together around the Lord’s table.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.