Saturday, 29 November 2014
Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 1 Corinthians 11:33
“Therefore” is given to sum up all of Paul’s thoughts starting in verse 17. In that verse, he noted that those in Corinth had “come together not for the better but for the worse.” In explanation of that, in comments intended to correct the problem, and in justification of why his directions were so important, he laid out his points in an orderly fashion until verse 32. In an overall summery statement he then gives them his curative recommendation by beginning with “my brethren.”
The addressees, despite their mishandling of the matter thus far, were still considered among the fellowship. The loss of salvation because of their conduct is not even a consideration. And so to these brethren he says, “when you come together to eat, wait for one another.” Instead of hurriedly gobbling up the food that was brought to the meal, they should wait until all had arrived and would be willing to fellowship with others and share in what was available.
In this, the believers would truly be a united group and they would be more likely to focus on the Lord and His work rather than on their stomachs. A good way to consider how this is true would be to think of a prayer meeting. If people are continuously walking in and out, then the prayer will by its very nature be dysfunctional. Concentration will be lost, there will be a repetition of prayers already offered, and there may even be resentment by those who had been trying to concentrate because of the stream of interruptions.
Life application: A church which is not run in an orderly and pious fashion will inevitably fail to unite in mind and heart on the Lord. The worship will become less “He” centered and more “me” centered. In all things, let us remember that it is the Lord who is to be exalted during praise and worship.
Heavenly Father, Glorious God – Forgive me for my often self-centered attitude in life. I seek prosperity and ease even though I know others have such difficult times. Is my time at church really focused on You, or is it about me and what I like? My times of prayer are inevitably distracted by a thousand things which fly through my mind. Lord, help me to conduct myself in a manner which honors You every moment and in all ways. Grant this that You will receive the glory you are due. Amen.