Question:

In your training, you state that you should not serve again for late comers. What is the reason for that, given Paul's instruction to "tarry one for another" in I Corinthians 11:33?

I am in agreement with you, but interested in your rational.


Answer:

The statement in the class notes is "Don't do it all over again for late-comers."

The reason Paul stated, "Therefore, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait one for another" (I Corinthians 11:33), was to put continued emphasis that the partaking of the Lord's Supper was something the entire congregation does together as a whole. Earlier he had stated that at Corinth, "For in your eating each one takes his own supper first. One is hungry, and another is drunken" (I Corinthians 11:21). In their disorganized fashion, some were partaking of the Lord's Supper without waiting for the rest. But one purpose of the Lord's Supper is the sharing of the meal, which is what communion means. "The cup of blessing which we bless, isn't it a communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, isn't it a communion of the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf of bread, we, who are many, are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf of bread" (I Corinthians 10:16-17).

Let's assume that a congregation decides that if someone comes late, to offer the Lord's Supper again for the late comers. Then we would have some who partake at the scheduled time, and others partaking at a later time. Is that not the very thing Paul said not to do?

The idea of tarrying for each other is to wait for an opportunity for all to gather together at the same time. It would be proper, for instance, to delay the start of services because of a snow storm until everyone driving in can make it. We should not be so rigorously set to a schedule that we can't make allowances for our brothers and sisters. In fact, the setting of the time for worship should be done to allow our brethren the opportunity to meet. While the typical congregation meets on Sunday morning, I know of congregations in dairy country who meet Sunday afternoons because it is the slow time for the dairy farmers in the area.

Encouraging people to come when they feel like it is not promoting the unity of the congregation.