7/24 1 Corinthians 11:28

28 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.

The church of the first century consisted of every class in society. Bible scholars estimate that the majority were slaves. When they had Communion, it was more like a meal. The wealthy who had leisure would come early and eat and drink their fill, while the slaves who weren't free to come until later went away hungry. Paul warned them that this was so offensive to God that He was afflicting some in the church with illness. Some had even died. Apparently, they did not relate the affliction with God's discipline. Paul points out that they were being disciplined so they would not be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).

We serve Communion today in an orderly and reverential fashion. However, we may do what the Corinthians were guilty of in a different way. While they showed a lack of love for one another by the manner in which they took it, we can do the same in the attitude of our heart. The problem was a lack of love and concern for the rest of the body of believers. Are we helping those who are in need within our fellowship or turning a blind eye? Are we forgiving those who have offended us or holding a grudge? The bread we partake of is a picture of Christ's body and so is every congregation. We can't partake of Communion with reverence for Jesus' bodily sacrifice unless we love His body on earth, our fellow believers.

Whenever you take Communion, pause and consider your attitude to the believers with whom you fellowship. If you are neglecting a need or find unforgiveness in your heart, resolve to take care of it that day. Let the love of Christ have His way in your heart before you take the bread and drink the cup.

Consider: Do we think all illness is just a random problem, or do we consider that in some cases we may be experiencing God's discipline so that we won't be condemned with the world?