1 Corinthians 11:17-22
17 In the following matters, I don’t praise you. Your meetings do more harm than good. 18 First, here is what people are telling me. When you come together as a church, you take sides. And in some ways I believe it. 19 No doubt you need to take sides in order to show which of you God agrees with! 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat. 21 As you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anyone else. One remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you think so little of God’s church that you shame those in it who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I praise you for that? Certainly not!
Pigging out on communion is not really a problem we have (I have this image of someone surrounded by hundreds of tiny cups of juice). But the attitude behind that can be easy to fall into. It’s easy to start thinking of Church services like we think of other services we use: “What’s my phone plan giving me? Maybe I should change to another company.” It seems the Corinthians were thinking about the great meal they expected. But that focus on what they would get out of it was the opposite of what the Church and Communion should be.
Paul goes on to say that the Lord’s Supper is a proclamation of Christ’s death and resurrection. We don’t proclaim things to ourselves. We proclaim things to others: to give them the key to salvation; to encourage them; and to honour Christ. It can often be a good time to reflect on how blessed we are, but it’s mainly about blessing others.
Of course there are times when I have fewer blessings to offer and I need the support of the wonderful people around me. That is fine, but I need to move on from that place. And I need to be willing to receive for the blessings to work, so long as I also give what I can.
There’s a wonderful irony that when we are in a group of people looking to be blessed, the blessings are few and far between. But when we are part of a group intent on blessing, we are bathed in a sea of blessing.
So how can I bless someone today?
Written by David Cornell