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NOVEMBER 22 | 1 CORINTHIANS 11:17-34


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION


Wait for Each Other

by Beth Voltmann


One of the most vivid memories I have from childhood is of potlucks at my Lutheran church. Hands would be joined and voices raised in a hymn of praise, “Be Present at Our Table, Lord”, and then all in attendance would queue up to serve themselves. My siblings and I would always be excited to line up for the feast, but our father would gently encourage us to wait until the others went ahead of us. “But DAD,” we would whine, “Mrs. Folsom’s taco salad will be all gone by the time we get to the food table!”

Isn’t this so typical of our human nature? We know the Lord’s instructions to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbors, but most often, we primarily think of ourselves. Let’s be honest for a moment and consider the times we desire to be first:

  • When trying to get our name onto the restaurant waiting list for brunch after church

  • When returning Christmas gifts just days just after the holiday

  • When attempting to exit the parking lot after a home game

  • When lining up on Black Friday to take advantage of the deals

  • When checking in for a flight at the airport gate as our group number is called

  • When seeing a new register open at the grocery store while waiting in a long line

  • When hoping to find a parking spot downtown


Our earthly nature is to help ourselves first and let others fend for themselves, but what does our heavenly Father whisper to us?


“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35)


The spirit of this letter to the Corinthians was to remind them to follow Christ’s example when they came together for fellowship and to wait for one another as they met to share in the Lord’s supper. Remember how, at the Last Supper, Jesus served the disciples by washing their feet and then sharing the bread and the cup of His new covenant with every one of them (even Judas). When we come together in fellowship as the body of Christ, may we do so in unity, putting others before ourselves, just as Christ Jesus did on the cross for us.


For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)


PRAYER

Father God, we thank you that you discipline us when our sinful natures take over. Thank you for whispering a reminder in our ear to love you and others above ourselves. May we glorify the name of Jesus every time we fellowship together and remember your great mercy and forgiveness each time we share Communion. We wait with eager expectation for the future feast we will share in your presence.


Be present at our table Lord,

Be here and everywhere adored.

These mercies bless and grant that we

May feast in paradise with Thee.

(John Cennick, 1741)






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