Now I don’t praise you as I give the following instruction because when you meet together, it does more harm than good. First of all, when you meet together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and I partly believe it. It’s necessary that there are groups among you, to make it clear who is genuine. So when you get together in one place, it isn’t to eat the Lord’s meal. Each of you goes ahead and eats a private meal. One person goes hungry while another is drunk. Don’t you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you look down on God’s churches and humiliate those who have nothing? What can I say to you? Will I praise you? No, I don’t praise you in this. This is why those who eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord inappropriately will be guilty of the Lord’s body and blood. Each individual should test himself or herself, and eat from the bread and drink from the cup in that way. Those who eat and drink without correctly understanding the body are eating and drinking their own judgment. Because of this, many of you are weak and sick, and quite a few have died. But if we had judged ourselves, we wouldn’t be judged. However, we are disciplined by the Lord when we are judged so that we won’t be judged and condemned along with the whole world. For these reasons, my brothers and sisters, when you get together to eat, wait for each other. (1 Corinthians 11:17-22,27-33, CEB)
You eat the Lord’s Supper to your own damnation is how I remember this passage from my youth. The people of Corinth were gathering when they could get to the place where worship was and ate as they arrived. Meaning the wealthy were there early and the working folks came later. And those who got there first would eat their fill of the Lord’s Supper and not leave any for those who would come later.
When you do not understand that the Lord’s Supper is grace for all, and when you do not share it with all as it was meant then you are taking it in a way that it was not intended and are therefore judging yourself.
But if we understand it isn’t only for us and not for us to get full on but to obtain grace, then we will wait and eat when we are all together.
Community is key.
Loving People. Loving God.