Our passage this Sunday will be 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. Go take a couple of minutes and read it. At first glance it seems to be about the Lord’s Supper. (I mean, the ESV heading for this section is The Lord’s Supper!) And it certainly spends a lot of time discussing the Lord’s Supper. But the primary issue on Paul’s mind is the hypocrisy and spiritual disconnect of some in Corinth that is in full display at their Lord’s Supper meals. To these he says:
When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. (1 Cor. 11:20)
Oh, they’re eating the bread and drinking the cup, but their proud hearts are callused toward their impoverished brothers and sisters and their unloving conduct turns their observance of the Lord’s Supper into something else. Something not.
I’m reminded of Isaiah’s indictment of Israel.
What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the LORD;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of well-fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you this trampling of my courts?
Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood. (Isaiah 1:11-15)
Hypocritical worship doesn’t honor God. But there’s grace for the repentant.
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool. (Isaiah 1:16-18)
May the Lord keep us on guard against outward religious practice that is mere formal duty and empty worship. The Lord’s Supper is a powerful remedy for this if we pay close attention to what it’s reminding us of.
Kenny Clark will be preaching this week and Jordan and Joyce Weaver will be leading our sung worship along with Dale Bryson. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And we will be observing the Lord’s Supper “together” each in our homes. Make sure you have your communion elements ready to go by 9:30am.
See you on livestream, Grace! Come hungry.
HERE’S (SOME) OF WHAT WE’LL BE SINGING THIS SUNDAY