Whitney and I took in Myles Hill’s final Little League game of the season last night and delighted most of all in seeing both Myles and his dad, Brandon wearing Texas Rangers logos. Brandon and Myles are both massive Astros fans and over-the-top Rangers haters. So it’s been a funny bit all season to poke fun at Myles for playing catcher for the Little League Rangers and Brandon coaching at first base. They wear the Rangers’ “City Connect” uniforms, those horrid Friday night home game black and red monstrosities Texas threw at us last year. But, those are Rangers logos nonetheless! Myles did an expert job handling things behind the plate and lined a sharp single to right field in his last at bat in a tough one-run loss. And I’m certain those two Rangers caps are already at the bottom of a dumpster somewhere between Butler Park and Briarwood.



If the Lord’s Supper is the place to experience the real presence of Christ and the real fellowship and community we have together with God’s people–if the purpose of communion is, well, communion–then the way we do it matters. The form of the Lord’s Meal serves the function. In fact, the form IS the function. The medium IS the message.

You can’t hold a Weight Watchers meeting at Golden Corral. Why? Those rolls, man! You can’t ask people to pay for Financial Peace University with a credit card. That defeats the purpose. The form matters.

That’s what’s wrong with the Lord’s Supper in Corinth. That’s what so concerns the apostle Paul: the form, the way they were eating the meal. The form of the meal was working against the purpose of the meal. In fact, Paul tells these Christians in Corinth, the way you’re eating it, it’s not the Lord’s Supper at all.

“When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for each of you eats his own supper without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk.” ~ 1 Corinthians 11:20-21

The original Greek text makes this much more clear. Paul says you’re not eating the Lord’s Supper (kuriakon diapnon), you’re eating your own supper (idion diapnon).

It’s important to remember that the Church’s Lord’s Supper started out as a full meal. For the first 300 or so years of Church history, the communion meal was a potluck. The Greek word diapnon is translated as supper, dinner, feast, meal–the word most commonly means the main meal, the biggest meal of the day. We call that supper. And Scripture tells us if we eat the meal one way, it’s the Lord’s Supper, and if we eat it a different way, it’s not.

So, what’s the problem? What are these Christians doing wrong?

“When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for each of you eats his own supper without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk. Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the Church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!” ~ 1 Corinthians 11:20-22

The problem here is the breakdown of community during the Lord’s Supper. You’re not waiting for others, you’re not sharing your food with others; people are going hungry, people are being humiliated. The rich Christians are getting full and drunk while the poor Christians are starving and being singled out as not really belonging to the group. People are going back for seconds before everybody’s been through the line once. Some are saving seats. There is selfishness and division, Paul says. Even if they had no idea what the Lord’s Supper is all about, common courtesy demands they don’t get stuffed and drunk while their brothers and sisters in the same room go hungry.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is breaking down barriers and tearing down walls and uniting us together in his holy community. Only thinking about yourself, only worrying about your own needs and feelings at the meal, denies the very Gospel the Lord’s Supper is intended to demonstrate. Paul says it makes a mockery of the Church.

So, what’s the corrective? How does he fix it? By pointing to Jesus. He reminds them of Jesus.


I found out at lunch today that my friend Steve Schorr, the pastor at First Presbyterian, is a big Colorado Avalanche fan. This afternoon, I am re-evaluating our friendship and this whole “4Midland” thing.

Go Stars.