In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 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. No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval. When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don't you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 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." 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." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
Therefore, 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. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.
So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. If anyone is hungry, he should eat at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.
A few thoughts:
- When the early church came together, it seems it was around a meal remembering our Lord.
- This group in Corinthians had a few faults. Some ate too much too quickly and others went hungry. Others drank too much and got drunk. They were not thinking of each other as they ate together.
- Neither of these problems are present in the typical Lord's supper practiced today. The small morsel of bread or cracker is not enough to feed anyone, and the small sip of grape juice or wine could not get anyone drunk.
- But are we thinking of each other? Are we recognizing the Christ's body?
- I've always understood this passage to mean I should examine the sins I've done in the past week, but in context it may be more to do with examining how I'm presently relating to the rest of Christ's body.
Hmm... I'm not sure what to do with these verses now. When I come together and eat with other believers I don't typically view that as the Lord's Supper. However when I take communion or the Lord's Supper at a Sunday morning gathering, I'm not usually doing much relationally with other members of the body.