So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honouring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way. Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world. So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other. If you are really hungry, eat at home so you won’t bring judgment upon yourselves when you meet together. I’ll give you instructions about the other matters after I arrive.1 Corinthians 11:27-34
Let’s look at this in a new way. Remember back to Paul’s opening on this “Communion” section (1 Cor 11:17-22). It is clear he is addressing another abhorrent practice of the Corinthians. It is even possible that this opening links to the section before it related to judging cultural things for yourself. Is this an example of judging cultural things? That aside, it is clear what Paul has to say subsequent to that is all one sense unit.
- But in the following instructions, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together.
- First, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it.
- But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!
- When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper.
- For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk.
- What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this!
- For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord Himself. On the night when He was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread
- and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and said, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this to remember Me.”
- In the same way, He took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood. Do this to remember Me as often as you drink it.” For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until He comes again.
- So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
- That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup.
- For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honouring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself.
- That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.
- But if we would examine ourselves, we would not be judged by God in this way.
- Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
- So, my dear brothers and sisters, when you gather for the Lord’s Supper, wait for each other.
- If you are really hungry, eat at home so you won’t bring judgment upon yourselves when you meet together. I’ll give you instructions about the other matters after I arrive.
Therefore, this passage was actually specifically written to address the situation in Corinth. Paul’s comments related to examining yourself and eating the bread and drinking the cup unworthily are specifically written to address what the Corinthian church was doing in communion: turning it into a time to gorge themselves to excess in their clique while others who had come went without. In the midst of communion! There was clearly no thought given to the meaning of communion or applying the principles of Christ’s sacrifice. The reason for Communion had “gone out window”. Sad when such familiarity actually breeds contempt for something. Little wonder Paul wrote to redress the situation. That doesn’t mean to say the passage is not relevant to us or has no application. Of course we need to examine ourselves and our motives constantly. Yes it is also true the middle part of this passage is a general Christian catechism written or learned by rote to pass on the essential truth of the sacrament of Communion. But it is also true Paul is using it to remind the Corinthians of the essential truth of the practice in an effort to address their wrong practices.
We have to be careful when we begin to institutionalise something to the point where it loses its meaning and significance to us. We can do this on the basis of repeating something wonderful that happened and trying to recapture it week by week. Turning something that once was precious and highly significant into a ritual, in which we lose the significance of the first act or event. Clearly this can happen to us with celebrating Christmas. Don’t lose sight of the reason for the season.
WHY JESUS IS BETTERTHAN SANTA CLAUS!
- Santa lives at the North Pole. JESUS is everywhere.
- Santa rides in a sleigh. JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
- Santa comes but once a year. JESUS is our ever present help.
- Santa fills your stockings with goodies. JESUS supplies all your needs.
- Santa comes down your chimney uninvited. JESUS stands at your door and knocks, and then enters your heart when invited.You have to wait in line to see Santa. JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.Santa lets you sit on his lap. JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
- Santa doesn’t know your name, all he can say is “Hi little boy or girl, what’s your name?”JESUS knew our name even before we were born.Not only does He know our name, He even knows how many hairs are on our heads.
- Santa says “You better not cry”. JESUS says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”
- While Santa puts gifts under your tree. JESUS became our gift and He died on a tree. The cross!
We need to put Christ back in CHRISTmas! Jesus is still the Reason for the Season.Anon