NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow night (April 7). This guide will enable your follow-up in our LIFE groups of my sermon tomorrow morning from 1 Corinthians 11.17-34 (Body Language: Lost in Translation). Look under the category title “LIFE group guides” and you’ll find an archive of previous discussion guides. All Scripture texts reproduced below are from the CEB.
To examine familiar Scripture more closely, so as to correct common misunderstandings.
Now I don’t praise you as I give the following instruction because when you meet together, it does more harm than good. First of all, when you meet together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and I partly believe it. It’s necessary that there are groups among you, to make it clear who is genuine. So when you get together in one place, it isn’t to eat the Lord’s meal. Each of you goes ahead and eats a private meal. One person goes hungry while another is drunk. Don’t you have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you look down on God’s church and humiliate those who have nothing? What can I say to you? Will I praise you? No, I don’t praise you in this.
I received a tradition from the Lord, which I also handed on to you: on the night on which he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread. After giving thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this to remember me.” He did the same thing with the cup, after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Every time you drink it, do this to remember me.” Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you broadcast the death of the Lord until he comes.
This is why those who eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord inappropriately will be guilty of the Lord’s body and blood. Each individual should test himself or herself, and eat from the bread and drink from the cup in that way. Those who eat and drink without correctly understanding the body are eating and drinking their own judgment. Because of this, many of you are weak and sick, and quite a few have died. But if we had judged ourselves, we wouldn’t be judged. However, we are disciplined by the Lord when we are judged so that we won’t be judged and condemned along with the whole world. For these reasons, my brothers and sisters, when you get together to eat, wait for each other. If some of you are hungry, they should eat at home so that getting together doesn’t lead to judgment. I will give directions about the other things when I come. (1 Corinthians 11.17-34)
Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.
1. What do you enjoy most about family meals or a meal shared with a close friend?
2. What emotions bubble up in you, and how do you act, when you think you’ve been snubbed?
3. What do you tend to think about during communion? Be specific and transparent.
These questions are meant to help us grapple with the Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.
1. While reading the text aloud, emphasize the underlined words (i.e. – what’s stressed in Greek).
2. Read vs. 21,27,29 & 33 aloud as one, unbroken thought. What’s the problem? The solution?
3. What sort of feelings does Paul have as he writes this (cf. the strong sarcasm in vs. 19-20)?
4. What body is to be in view as we’re to be about “correctly understanding the body” (vs. 29)?
These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.
1. I most deeply sense my union with all other Christians, and am moved to demonstrate such without any favoritism whatsoever, whenever I _____.
2. What factors can contribute to the difficulty of practicing “the union of communion” today?
3. Name some beliefs/behaviors that turn the “the Lord’s meal” into just “our own meal.” (vs. 20)
4. How does typical, modern-day church building architecture affect the union of communion?
5. What attitudes/actions have you had during the meal of which you have repented (vs. 28)?
6. What can you practically do during communion to help promote the union of communion?
7. How can we make the way we practice communion a “healthier,” less “lethal,” action (vs. 30)?