Not by Bread Alone: A 31-Day series

Day twenty-nine: Love feasts

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

Do you think people would mind if I started calling our church’s potluck gatherings “love feasts”?

Some people would probably get the wrong idea about what that means, but “love feast” can’t be any worse than “afterglow” or “linger-longer,” right? Maybe I should just stick to potluck. But I love the idea that you would call a gathering of church people eating together a “love feast” like Jude does in verse 12 of his epistle. A gathering of believers should always be a feast of the love that we have received from Christ and freely give to one another.

Simply changing the name of a get-together doesn’t guarantee that the right attitudes will follow, however. 

In the church at Corinth, people were being anything but loving towards each other. The wealthy members of the church were eating all the communion elements before those who had less were able to partake. Paul had some harsh criticism for them.

“Do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?” he says. “What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you for this? Certainly not!” (1 Corinthians 11:22)

At our church, we never have this problem when we take communion, because we hand out pre-portioned individual serving cups of grape juice with a wafer in the lid. But don’t think that exempts us from this criticism. The attitudes that were present in this first-century church are still prevalent in churches today.

Do you, despite the countless ways that God has blessed you, come to church to receive, to be served? In all your plenty, do you still expect the body of Christ to give you more? Do you get drunk off the good feelings that come from hearing your favorite worship song, or a sermon that you like? Do you allow others around you, who are desperate for a touch from God to go hungry for the ministry God’s gifts in you enable you to give? Do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?

Or do you come to a gathering of believers seeking to serve others?

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This post is part of a 31-day series. A list of all the other posts in this series can be found here.

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