LentBlog ’14 Day 27: On Discerning the Body

1 Corinthians 11:17-34 It really is fun to read through 1 Corinthians and watch a master at work, for to be certain, the Apostle Paul is a master. He’s going further after the divisions in the Corinthian church here, and the picture he paints is pretty bleak. It turns out that when they gather as a church, the Corinthians carry on as if it’s just a regular meal: the well-to-do folks with certain financial and/or social status are turning it into a drunken food fest, while others who are brothers and sisters in Christ go hungry. The elites receive the respect and status they have come to expect. Others further down the totem pole receive nothing.  Paul slams the door pretty hard on this behavior. Why? Because it’s not the Gospel. The instructions for coming to the Lord’s table Paul gave them were what he received from the Lord. And it turns out coming to the Lord’s table is, in fact, pulling up a chair to the Kingdom of God, where there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female… The Lord’s table is a great equalizer, because we are “proclaiming the Lord’s death until He comes” (v. 26).  When we are offered a seat at this table, it we must remember that we are equal. All are offered a seat at this feast.  To selfishly consume (and consume, and consume) individually without regard for others puts us in the same boat as those who crucified Jesus. In case we’ve forgotten, that’s a pretty terrible place. Again Paul’s got the Bloated Leech in his sights.. and he’s about to pull the trigger using one of his best analogies for the church.

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