1 Corinthians 11:17-34 “Wait for One Another”
17 Now in giving these instructions I do not praise you, since you come together not for the better but for the worse.
v. 17b …you come together not for the better but for the worse.
Being at church alone does not guarantee a positive outcome.
18 For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it.
v. 18c …in part I believe it.
Paul was not quick to believe the worst in people.
“Paul finds it difficult to believe the Corinthians would be so crass as to divide their church into the rich and the poor, but he has little choice but to believe at least the essence of the report.”
19 For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be [a]recognized among you. Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.
v. 20 Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper.
There were believers who came to “church” to feast and socialize, not for Christ.
When they came together it was to really come together unifying together as Christ’s body.
He then justifies his declaration in the Corinthians’ case on the ground that eating the Lord’s Supper requires Christian unity, because the eating of it symbolizes unity in Christ, as noted earlier in 10:16–17: “The cup of blessing that we bless is a sharing of the Christ’s blood, isn’t it? The bread that we break is a sharing of the Christ’s body isn’t it? Because [there’s] one loaf [of bread], we many are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf.”
21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk.
v. 21 For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others…
It is astounding that they could do something so thoughtless. It is a reminder to us that it is we are capable of similar action when we lose our spiritual focus on Christ.
22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I praise you in this? I do not praise you.
v. 22b Or do you despise the church of God and shame those who have nothing?
“By this behavior, such people are casting shame on the have-nots in the church and thus showing how much they despise [or disrespect] the church itself.” 
They had completely overlooked that the Church Christ purchased was to break down cultural and economic barriers, not reinforce them.
The verb “humiliate” [shame] is the same as in vv. 4–5, for those who bring shame on their “heads”; but in this case it is far more than dishonor or disrespect; they are degrading, humiliating the “have-nots.”
23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread;
v. 23 For I received from the Lord…
Paul turns their attention back to the spiritual focus and significance of what they are gathering to do at the Lord’s supper.
24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
v. 23 But let a man examine himself …
The stem word is δοκή (δοχή), “watching”… This verb is found everywhere in the sense of “to test,” “to try.” It indicates a thoughtful and honest mindset that reflects one’s motives and attitudes. It is this mindset that the psalmist asks the Lord to search his heart. (Psalm 139.23-24)
v.33 …when you come together to eat, wait for one another.
What does it mean to wait?
- It presumes you are expecting someone.
- It presumes that it is meaningful or desirable to do something with them instead of without them.
- It presumes that they are late. The world counts the faults of those who make them wait. Hopefully, we Christians are more charitable.
34b …And the rest I will set in order when I come.
In the big scheme of things, this is one of the more urgent issues. Is it important to us?
Our purpose in gathering is to ascribe or proclaim God’s worth, embody the Gospel, model the character and values of Christ. To be His body.
When we become distracted from that, things start to go wrong.
Old English worðscip, wurðscip (Anglian), weorðscipe (West Saxon) "condition of being worthy, dignity, glory, distinction, honor, renown," from weorð "worthy" (see worth) + -scipe (see -ship). Sense of "reverence paid to a supernatural or divine being" is first recorded c. 1300. The original sense is preserved in the title worshipful "honorable" (c. 1300).
First, to our own motives. We should evaluate or examine ourselves. What is motivating me, why am I doing this? How are my words and actions being understood?
Second, to those around us, to who they are. How can what I am doing affecting them? Colossians 3.11 didn’t say that the distinctions go away or that we are “color blind.” It says our bond in Christ overwhelms and eclipses them.
“Nobody sits alone.” Nobody is left out. Nobody is second class at communion, at any church gathering.
There are social and economic differences that are culturally reinforced with an intensity, that we have to intentionally work against them.
We must be mindful and intentional to not just make everybody feel included but to really be included.
How often do we act mechanically, almost without thinking? We coast through the motions of life in such a hurry, oblivious to what is happening around us, aimless.
The book of Proverbs calls us, again and again, to consider and guard our path. How much trouble would we save ourselves and others if we did so?
We need to be mindful of our natural urges. We should strive to be intentional to honor Christ by being thoughtful and kind to the ones He loves.
Let’s WAIT for one other, since we, as a Christ's Church, are not complete without each other.
 Robert H. Gundry, Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010), 666–667.
 Walter Grundmann, “Δόκιμος, Ἀδόκιμος, Δοκιμή, Δοκίμιον, Δοκιμάζω, Ἀποδοκιμάζω, Δοκιμασία,” ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 255.
 Walter Grundmann, “Δόκιμος, Ἀδόκιμος, Δοκιμή, Δοκίμιον, Δοκιμάζω, Ἀποδοκιμάζω, Δοκιμασία,” ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley, and Gerhard Friedrich, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–), 256.