So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for each other. 1 Corinthians 11.33
This passage, near the end of Paul’s guidance and instruction regarding the Lord’s Supper, has potential to upend many notions regarding ministry in the Body of Christ. Ministry, at its core, is about service. In this case, serving one another. What is being served and who does the serving is often the point of contention.
The Lord’s Supper, as a love feast, had digressed into something less loving by division of class and privilege. Drunkeness and gluttony became prominent when the rich did not wait on the poor. The issue was not who brought waht, but serving all equally with what was at hand. In this sense, Paul was seeking to level the playing field and remind the believers in Corinth, you are in this together, you represent the Body of Christ. Act as your Lord did, in service and love.
The point of contention regards what was served. Some may read this as simply serving food to one another in a way that honors everyone equally. If what is served includes the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper then this may be a sticking point for some. How would you feel if a women served you the bread and wine? What if it was a child? What if the person was disabled? Would that change your view of remembering the New Covenant? Perhaps I am too egalitarian…yet, we are a kingdom of priests. We can share in that ministry, serving the reminders of brokenness and shed blood that point to the love and grace given through Jesus Christ. May we all have that privilege.