Nabals at the Supper

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In 1 Samuel 25, we are told the story of Nabal, Abigail, and David. It was the time of shearing, a time of prosperity for Nabal, a prosperity made possible by David. Nabal was celebrating this by means of a drunken feast. When messengers came from David, seeking to be included in the blessing, Nabal answered them churlishly, and sent them packing. It was only through the intervention of Abigail that David was prevented from slaughtering that whole household in judgment.

In Corinth, the apostle Paul had to deal with a similar situation. There were selfish and

wealthy Corinthians who were feasting selfishly, and drunkenly, at the Lord’s Supper. When messengers came from the Son of David—those messengers being the Corinthian church members who were without—they were sinfully rejected and excluded. And, like Nabal, some of them paid with their lives.

Meals that are centered on gratitude and thanksgiving—like harvest home festivals and this Eucharistic meal—are never times for grabbing and getting your own. We not allowed to pretend that the blessing we enjoy begins with us. We must not refuse the son of David if the son of David is the one who set the table in the first place. And He has, and so we come with gratitude and a willingness to imitate the attitude that blessed us, which means a willingness to share and to overflow.

Freely you have received, freely give.

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