Monday, February 20th
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.
– 1 Corinthians 11:17–20
Divisions or commUNION?
This week we are going to journey through 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 looking specifically at Communion.
Communion comes from the latin term: Communem meaning “fellowship or sharing together”. Depending on your tradition you may have heard communion called “The Eucharist”, which comes from the greek word Eucharisteo (εὐχαριστέω) which means to give thanks. Scripture refers to this “meal’ as the Lord’s supper or the Lord’s meal.
1 Corinthians 11:17-20, Paul rebukes the church in Corinth because of their behavior around this meal(we will see more details later this week!). The repetition of the phrase “Come together” 3 times in 4 verses, is strongly contrasted with his discussion of “divisions” and “factions” in verse 18 and 19.
While the Corinthian Church is coming together physically, they are divided spiritually. Paul is making his rebuke clear: the Corinthians are divided at a gathering that is meant to unify.
The goal of Communion is to share a common meal with our brothers and sisters in Christ as we share in the common gospel. As we take the Lord’s Supper, we are reminded that we are communing with God because of the body(bread) and blood(wine) of Jesus Christ was broken and poured out for us! Not only that, but we are communing with our brothers and sisters. While we may be different ages, races, socio-economic status, political affiliation, we are united in Jesus Christ. We are are united together because of Jesus.
May we hear the rebuke of Paul, that when we come together physically, we come together spiritually as one family. While we may have so many things that make us different, may we look to Jesus who makes a way for communion with God and human.
Thank you for your Word. We pray that by your Spirit, 1 Corinthians 11:17-20 would change us into the likeness of Christ. We ask for your help in training up the next generation. May with be Spirit-led trail guides that do what it takes to love and disciple the next generation. Father, we pray this now through The Son and By the Spirit. Amen.