“So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together.”
1 Corinthians 11:33 (NIV)
I’ll have to admit sharing a table at a restaurant with total strangers is not something I usually relish. But sometimes it turns out to be a delightful experience. I can remember one time we shared a table with a woman that started her career as a teacher in a one room schoolhouse and had taught for fifty years. I can remember telling my wife who, at the time had been teaching for twenty-three years, “Just think Honey, in another twenty-seven years you can retire.”
When we’re sharing a table we often seek those with whom we are most comfortable, typically our family and friends. We are most comfortable with those who think like us, and act like us, and look like us. But our desire for comfort can cause division.
“So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat,”
1 Corinthians 11:20 (NIV)
The Lord’s Supper is intended to be a visible display of the unity of the church. In Corinthian society, the host of a meal typically sat people according to their social status. The more favored guests—those of the highest social standing—received the most prominent seats and the best food and drink. Paul teaches us that the church body and the Lord’s Supper must be held to a higher standard.
When we diminish or exclude other believers from the table we sin against Christ by not proclaiming His death.
Jesus gave his life for all people. Come to the table.