For if you eat the bread or drink the cup without honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. - 1 Corinthians 11:29-30
The other night, my husband and I did an outdoor movie night with our college and career group. For many of us, this was the first time we've met together in months. We walked around the property, fed the pond fish, and set up the projector to watch the movie for the night: Jurassic World. The eight of us gathered around a picnic table as my husband served hot dogs and chips. We ate, socialized, talked about God, and watched the movie as the sun went down. Later on, we set up some telescopes to view the comet as it passed by.
It was an extremely enjoyable evening. The weather was perfect. The movie was exciting. The conversation was good. The comet was fascinating.
As I sat there at the table enjoying a couple hot dogs with my group, I couldn't help but think of the early church in Acts 2 enjoying meals together and socializing. This must have been exactly what the very first Christian churches were like - preparing food together, socializing, and discussing God. For the first time in months, I felt true contentment.
However, not every church in the Bible was conducting themselves properly like the ones in Acts 2. In 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, Paul describes a big problem going on within the Corinthian church. Though they are gathering together to share in communion, their hearts are not in it. They are arguing, causing divisions, eating their meals without sharing, becoming drunk, and letting others go home hungry. This was definitely not how church or communion was supposed to be done.
Nowadays, when we think of the word "communion," we think of a church gathering where the preacher/priest says some prayers, and the ushers pass out some disgusting, cardboard-like crackers and a plastic shot glass half-filled with grape juice or wine. The congregation quickly swallows the tasteless cracker and drinks the little plastic shot of juice when the preacher says to. That's it. Communion done for the month. (Well, that is how I think of communion anyway. When I was a kid, communion night was always my least favorite church night.)