Part of Paul’s rebuke of the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 11 has to do with the architecture of their meeting place. It was common for the saints to gather in the homes of wealthier Christians. The architecture of the home was such that there would be a decent sized atrium for the people to gather, but when it came to partaking of the Lord’s Supper they would split into two separate groups.
The wealthy and important would go into the more comfortable dining area, while the lower classes––the poor, the widows, the slaves––were left out in the courtyard atrium. The rebuke of Paul about those who rushed forward to eat and leave others to go without has this architectural component in mind. The Corinthians seemed to have carried over to the Lord’s Supper Table a mindset that was not intrinsically wrong when it came to their own supper table. Their servants didn’t feast at their master’s table; they were busy serving, after all. What was a somewhat indifferent cultural practice had become a deadly ecclesiastical practice.
This Table was not their table, it was the Lord’s. This was Christ’s Supper. So their division of rich and poor, important and inferior, high and low was completely incompatible with the rite which Christ gave to His church.
The message here is that male and female, Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, great and small all fully partake of the great grace of Jesus Christ. You are welcomed to God’s supper table. Therefore, we must not come to this table with pride and presumption. Rather, with humble gratitude you lay hold of Christ, the entire Christ; which means that as you then pass the bread and wine to the person beside you, if indeed they are in Christ by faith, they too are receiving all of Christ.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ…