July 18, 2017
READ: 1 Cor. 11:17-34
But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that you who have God’s approval will be recognised! (v.19).
A woman named Wednesday was out walking when she saw a well-dressed woman coming towards her. The woman drifted in her path, pushing Wednesday to the edge of the pavement. As she brushed by, Wednesday noticed she was carrying a $60,000 Birkin handbag. She realised if she was going to be accepted in New York’s prestigious Upper East Side, she would have to get one.
Wednesday knows it’s crazy. No purse is worth thousands of dollars or the grovelling required to purchase it. You can’t simply walk into a Hermes shop and get a Birkin. You have to keep coming back, and even beg before Hermes will let you into the Birkin club.
Aren’t you glad Jesus frees us from such pursuits? We don’t need to pay exorbitant fees to impress people. Our status is already sealed. We matter because we belong to God.
The Corinthians forgot this fact and fought over their perceived status. Some bragged they belonged to the ‘brand’ of Peter. Others wore their allegiance to Paul or Apollos on their sleeve (1 Corinthians 1:11-12). The church was also divided by class. When they met for dinner and the Lord’s Supper, the wealthy would “hurry to eat [their] own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some [went] hungry while others [got] drunk” (11:20-21).
Paul said such divisions “disgrace God’s church and shame the poor”. It’s the reason why many of them were weak and sick and some even died. The Lord’s Table should bring us together, not drive us apart. So “wait for each other” (vv.22,30,33).
Our status doesn’t depend on what brands we wear, but it does depend on the One who loves us. Jesus invites us to His Supper. As we gather around His table, we sit beside equals in the family of God.
365-day plan: John 6:22-40
Read James 2:1-9 and consider why it’s important not to value others based on their status.
How does your identity in Christ free you from the need to impress others? Why is it important to see others through God’s eyes?