ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER
Jesus, prepare my heart to meet with You today. Make me right before You, God.
Read 1 Corinthians 11:17–34
Correcting an Abuse of the Lord’s Supper
17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night 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, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.
And when I come I will give further directions.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectReflect on Jesus’ love for you: “Do this in remembrance of me.”
If you have attended different churches you may have noticed different ways of celebrating communion—and different terms, too. It looks as though what they did in Corinth was different again. In the early churches, which normally met in houses, it seems that they had a meal together and communion was part of the meal. But the church in Corinth was deeply divided—rich and poor, attachment to personalities, Jew and Gentile. And these divisions, especially between the rich and the poor, were spilling over into communion, damaging relationships and dishonoring God.
That is just wrong. The church’s unity should be evident, especially when we come to remember Jesus in communion, and all that he has done for us. Anything else is a denial of what Christ has achieved for us and will lead to major problems in the life of the church. Failing to live as Jesus wants us to can have serious consequences for our spiritual and, it would seem, our physical health (30).
When we come together and especially when we share in communion—however we do it and whatever we call it—we need to make sure that there is nothing that undermines our unity. There are to be no grudges, no sense of superiority and no unresolved disagreements.
How will upholding unity affect the way you come to communion next time? Is there anything you need to sort out with a fellow Christian first?
Reflect on verses 23–26. Take this time to remember Christ’s sacrifice and allow your heart to give thanks.