1 Corinthians 11:17-34
With Easter coming up, you’re probably feeling a bit guilty because you don’t feel like going to church.
Church attendance is a discipline — it’s not something you automatically want to do on a Sunday morning. I don’t care how long you’ve been a Christian; when you’ve worked hard all week, sleeping in sounds tempting.
But you gotta go to church on Easter, right? Especially because you’ve missed the last few weeks and your buddy is starting to call you to see “how things are going.”
But you might be surprised to discover that church may not be for you at all.
Why would I say something like that?
1) Because you’re in it for yourself (v. 17-22, 29, 34)
Some of the Jews-turned-Christian had a funky habit of showing up at communion with an empty stomach looking to get a bite — some of them even sought out communion to get wasted.
Most churches perform communion with very meager portions, so expecting to get a meal or buzz out of it would be foolish. However, we do other things at church with selfish intentions, do we not?
Did you join the worship band to prove to everyone that you really can sing? Or did you get into youth ministry hoping to dazzle the associate pastor with your public speaking skills?
Remember that the Lord’s sacrifice was a selfless act, not a means to boost your ego to wiggle your way into significance among other believers. It’s the same “who’s the greatest” nonsense that got Jesus looking over His shoulder and shaking His head.
2) Because it’s for others (v. 33)
Sometimes we get wrapped up in “getting fed” at church. Church happens once a week — if you’re only eating once a week, you’re starving yourself.
Meanwhile, there are other Christians actually starving who share a row of chairs with you . They’re not literally starving (or perhaps they are — I hope you can tell!), but they’re looking for someone to just pay attention for once. They’re spiritually destitute, in desperate need of encouragement.
Your presence might be the one thing someone else needs. Don’t forsake church — your fellow Christians are counting on it!
3) But really, it’s for the Lord. (v. 23-25)
Nowhere in the Bible does it say we’re supposed to start a country club in a big ol’ building, grab a cup of coffee, enjoy some nice sing-a-long live entertainment and hear a well-dressed man deliver an inspirational message to give you fuzzies inside.
Perhaps my assessment of the modern American church is a bit pretentious, but it’s no mystery that we’re quite consumer driven.
If you intend to come to church, express reverence for the Lord. That’s why you sing. That’s why you listen to His Word and obey it. And that’s why you take communion — to remember what He has done for you. It’s not for you.
Jesus performed the greatest act of love possible through His death. Our whole desire, as we assemble this weekend, should be to grant Him our attention, at least, and then grant Him the worth He deserves.
So, this Easter, put down the Cadbury eggs, open up the ends of the gospels, and read all about it. He loves you. Love Him back.
And go to church! You will bless the Lord, and He will bless your heart in return.