Cody did a fantastic job Sunday and set the stage well for this next section of 1 Corinthians 11-14. We’ll be in this section over the next two weeks because there’s a lot going on here. The nutshell of what we need to take away from 8-10 is that we should always look to what is best for the building up of others. Paul reminds us that, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” When it comes to disagreements in the church, how do I let me “knowledge” get in the way of unity? In the grey areas of disagreement, I need to think about the wellbeing of others in how I act. Cody ended his sermon with a reflection on our “participation” in the body of Christ through partaking in the “one loaf” together at the Lord’s Table (10:14-17). This section ends with Paul saying, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (11:1). This is a solid reminder that I’m called to set an example in Christ for people to follow and to look to Christ in others as a reminder of who I am called to be.
Chapters 11-14 are focused on what happens during the time of worship in Corinth. He’s going to address head coverings when women pay and prophesy in worship, how the Lord’s Supper is being abused in the assembly, the use of spiritual gifts for the common good of the church, unity, and what is proper for orderly worship. I’m going to address all of these topics in two parts. This week I will look at the central concern of this section: Unity of the Body. This is central to Paul’s letter to the church, central to Jesus’ prayer in John 17, and central to who we are and need to be as a Church.
This Sunday, we will have a special communion service where the Lord’s Table will be the central focus of what we do. This will allow us to take time to practice what Paul address in 1 Corinthians 11. In preparing for Sunday, read chapter 11 (and 12-14 if you want to get the full context) and wrestle with these questions: if the way they are taking communion does more harm than good, what are they doing wrong? If the way they are taking the Lord’s Supper is causing divisions, what is it about the Lord’s Supper that should be bringing unity? What can you do as an individual and what can we do as a community in our practices around the Lord’s Supper to cultivate unity amongst our diverse congregation?
I would love to hear your responses to these questions! See you Sunday!