A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. (1 Cor. 11:28)

Imagine a state dinner. You’ve been invited to dine with the president. Of course you put on appropriate attire. But as you approach the room you also put on your best behavior. Not because you want to appear what you aren’t, but out of respect for the occasion and, more importantly, for your host. You observe etiquette and protocol, remembering it’s a privilege to be there. And you treat the other guests with courtesy and respect, for though they may be a head of state or a trash collector, the president invited them.

Paul reminded the Corinthians that they should approach the Lord’s Table like a state dinner, with thoughtful maturity and a realization of what it is about. Petty differences should be set aside for mutual honor and respect. Our thoughts should be on the occasion and the host, not on our own needs or on judging the other guests. Any other behavior is unacceptable.

So when we come together for the Lord’s Supper, we should examine our hearts for the attitude with which we approach it. Do we realize the privilege it is to participate? Do we treat it that way? Are we focusing on our Host’s purpose for the gathering? Are we treating the other guests as our Host expects us to? We miss so much when we behave in a manner unworthy of the invitation we’ve received.

Examine your heart today.

Diane Gardner lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where she enjoys theater, community events, and watching the sun set over the bay.