“Do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?”
What strikes me in chapter 11 is how some of the Corinthians abused communion. In the past, I’ve always separated myself from their example. Using Jesus’ Supper as an excuse to get drunk? Really? I could never do that. Flaunting personal means over other brothers and sisters who have less? Let em’ have it Paul! They deserve a severe apostolic, Holy Spirit beatdown. But then the Spirit quietly, gently divides my inner man with the Word to show me I’m not much different.
Some of the Corinthians were guilty of taking the sacrament passed down directly from Jesus and using it as an opportunity to serve themselves. Rather than eating before church, they brought what they had in abundance, food and drink. And without consideration they all ate as they wanted, when they wanted. There was no unity. No sharing. They were using the church to satisfy themselves without consideration of their brothers and sisters. It was like a huge potluck only some were getting fat and drunk and many others were going hungry. They had lost sight of Jesus. Jesus instituted this supper as a means of spiritual sustenance not physical gratification. It was a time for the Christians to come together to remember the sacrifice and grace that made them together the Bride of Christ.
There are many areas where the church today shows similar behavior. We elevate aspects of doing church above aspects of being the church together. We use the church to satisfy ourselves without consideration of our brothers and sisters. We see the bad example of Corinth but easily overlook our own shortcomings and dismiss them as less severe. Church can become strictly a routine in our life we use to bring us comfort and normalcy. When this happens, we are overlooking our need for Jesus, our responsibility to proclaim his death with our lives, and the spiritual and physical needs of our brothers and sisters. Genuinely upholding the church of God is vital to true communion with Jesus.