1 Corinthians 11:17-26

During the Lenten season, members of Faith Lutheran Church have written our daily devotions. Today’s writer is Michael Farner.

 

17Now in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18For, to begin with, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and to some extent I believe it. 19Indeed, there have to be factions among you, for only so will it become clear who among you are genuine. 20When you come together, it is not really to eat the Lord’s Supper. 21For when the time comes to eat, each of you goes ahead with your own supper, and one goes hungry and another becomes drunk. 22What! Do you not have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you show contempt for the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What should I say to you? Should I commend you? In this matter I do not commend you! 23For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:17-26

 

We all know that a house divided cannot stand. But what about a church? The role of the church is to fulfill God’s will here on earth. However, so often the church is used to put the needs of its members above the works of God. When the church becomes a self-serving instrument, it is in effect a house divided. A divided church is a quarrelsome church, and Paul warned against this. Only when the church comes together and acts out of the will of God and not out of the will of man, can it become an instrument for healing and godliness.

 

This is clear to witness in our own church when, every month, hundreds of homeless people are fed in Houston through our delivery of grace bags and homeless lunches, or clothed through a Family Service project. This is clear when people who would otherwise never hear the word of God, can hear it spoken in their native language, Mandarin. All of these things could not be accomplished by individual works alone. It takes a group of people, united in the common will of God, to have such far-reaching effects in the community. For only when God is number one can the church achieve its potential and truly serve Christ every day.

 

Let us pray: Dear God, help us value your will above our own desires. Please help us see that the church is about you, not us. Help us do your good works every day and reach our potential in your world. In your name we pray, Amen.

 

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