Isaiah 54-55; 1 Corinthians 11
The first half of 1 Corinthians 11 seems dated and irrelevant. What’s all this talk about women covering their heads? What in the world does this mean, and is it really important?
Once again, Paul is addressing a specific issue in the Corinthian church and we must look through the details to find the applicable principle.
In Paul’s day, it was only a married woman who wore head coverings. So this passage is specifically referencing the relationship between husbands and wives – not between men and women in general. If a married woman worshiped with her head uncovered, this would bring great shame to her husband – as if to say she were “sexually available” or not married at all.
Evidently, this was an issue in the Corinthian church, so Paul exhorts the congregation to act in a way that would bring glory to God. In other words, do not let external acts of disrespect distract others from the gospel.
Similarly, Paul instructs the church in the proper way to celebrate The Lord’s Supper (11:20-34). It wasn’t to be a glutenous feast with people gorging themselves with food and wine. No! It was an act of worship – a time where the congregation was supposed to lay aside their own desires for the sake of others and for Christ.
Their corporate worship was a witness to the world! What did their community communicate about Jesus when they came together to worship? Did they send a message of disrespect and lust for selfish desires – or did they consider the needs of others before themselves?
The Corinthian Church struggled with the same temptations we face… selfishness, individualism, rebellious attitudes, conformity to the culture, lust, greed, should I go on?? ;)
When my sin threatens to overwhelm me, I look to the grace and kindness of my God.
Today’s reading from Isaiah is spilling over with God’s goodness and grace! Savor the words from Isaiah 54-55. Let them sink deep into your soul and breathe life into your dry bones. These are the words of your Lord. These are the words of life!
Seek God while he’s here to be found,
pray to him while he’s close at hand.
Let the wicked abandon their way of life
and the evil their way of thinking.
Let them come back to God, who is merciful,
come back to our God, who is lavish with forgiveness. (Isaiah 55:6-7, The Message).
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