Having just come through the holidays, my body is feeling sluggish from too many sweets and not enough exercise.  I find myself looking forward to a return to normal eating and lifestyle.  My body requires a healthy way to live.

It is the same in the life of the church.  If we live with an excess of whipped cream, our health suffers over time. 

The holidays are also times of hospitality, but usually to our favored friends and family.  We spend extra time with them, usually with good intentions and gift-giving. 

But could we sustain the holiday lifestyle year-round and remain healthy? 

In Corinth, Paul was concerned with members of the church who lived with an abundance of food and likely sat with their family and a few favored friends.  Every gathering on the Lord’s Day was treated like a holiday, not a holy day.

1 Corinthians 11:
17 In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval. 20 So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, 21 for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk. 22 Don’t you have homes to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you? Certainly not in this matter!

The Corinthian partiers were humiliating to others without knowing it.  That is how self-focused they were.  Instead of the meal being a model of the Lord’s table, it reminded Paul of a private club.

When we come together as a church and when we consider our social life, let’s make sure we are not humiliating others by exclusion.  Let’s not smear the Lord’s name by turning a blind eye to the people God wants to share at our table.

Paul was writing a letter and not leading a service.  He continued with a reference to the Lord’s Passover with His disciples.  In it is the model of what our table of love should be.

1 Corinthians 11:
 23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Let us approach our lives together with more emphasis on inclusion and hospitality; less on what we are going to stuff ourselves with.

We could get by with less turkey and more hospitality.  Fewer guest lists and more open homes.