The Lord's Supper
17 Now I must teach you about something else about your meetings. I am not going to praise you, because more bad things than good things happen when you meet together. 18 First, I hear that there are separate groups when you meet together as God's people. I believe that some of what I have heard about you is true. 19 Perhaps there must be separate groups among you. Then everyone can see clearly which group God accepts as right!
20 When you meet together, the meal that you eat is not really the Lord's Supper. 21 When you are ready to eat, each of you eats your own meal. You do not wait for anyone else. As a result, one of you may be hungry, while another person becomes drunk. 22 If you want to eat like that, you have your own homes where you can eat and drink! Instead, you insult the people of God's church. You make people who have nothing feel ashamed. I cannot praise you for what you do. Whatever I might say to you about this, I certainly cannot praise you.
23 This is the message that I received from the Lord. I also told it to you.
This is what happened on the night that Jesus' enemies took hold of him. The Lord Jesus picked up some bread to eat with his disciples. 24 He thanked God for the bread and then he broke it into pieces. He said: ‘This is my body that I give to save you. Eat this bread, so that you remember me.’
25 After they had eaten supper, Jesus took a cup of wine. He spoke to his disciples again. He said, ‘This cup shows my blood that will pour out when I die. God now makes a new agreement to save people because of my death. Whenever you drink from the cup in this way, do it to remember me.’
26 Every time that you eat bread and you drink from the cup like this, you are showing something. You are showing people what the Lord's death means. You should continue to do this until he returns.
27 Since that is true, you must be careful. Eat the bread and drink from the cup in a way that is right. Anyone who does not do that will be guilty. They are showing that they do not respect the Lord's body and his blood that he offered as a sacrifice. 28 So, everyone must think carefully about how they eat the bread and they drink from the cup. 29 Every one who eats and drinks must understand how important the Lord's body is. If anyone does not recognize this, God will punish them. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick. Some of you have even died because of this. 31 But if we think carefully about ourselves, then God will not need to punish us.
32 But the Lord does need to punish us sometimes. When he does that, he is teaching us not to do wrong things. Then we will not be guilty, like other people who do not know God.
33 So, my Christian friends, be patient when you meet together to eat the Lord's Supper. Do not start to eat before everyone is ready. 34 If you are hungry, you should eat at home before you come. Then, when you meet together, God will not have any reason to punish you.
I will talk about the other things when I come to visit you.