Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Read 1 Corinthians 11:17-22
Paul is very generous with his affirmations of the churches which he founded. Most of his letters include a prayer of thanksgiving in the opening paragraphs, and Paul is specific in commending the ministries and people of the church.
The Corinthian church, however, was conflicted in ever way. There is divisive factionalism based on past leaders of the church (1:10-17). There are doctrinal conflicts based on the claim of spiritual superiority. Some members were "wise in this age," though, Paul pointed out, not in God's wisdom (3: 18-20). Other Corinthians felt they were already in God's kingdom, rich and full (4:8-13). There is sexual immorality, members taking other members to court, disagreement about the dietary laws and the proper dress at public prayer.
Most tragically, there were abuses at the Lord's Supper, the subject of today's reading. Paul writes, "When you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. . . . When you come together, it is not really to eat the Lord's supper. . . . What should I say to you? Shall I commend you? In this matter I do not commend!" (11:17, 21, 24)
If Paul were to write a letter to your church, what would he affirm with appreciation and thanksgiving?
For what would Paul rebuke your church?