The Head of the Table

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As the apostle Paul begins the eleventh chapter of 1 Corinthians, let us assume that he is not guilty of a radical lurch as he changes subjects, deciding finally to come back to the subject of the Lord’s Supper in v. 17.

The culmination point of Christian worship is the Supper, and every disorder in the service of worship, and every disorder in our lives, is therefore ultimately a disordering of the Supper.

One such disorder was found in the marriages of Corinth. Paul tells us the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man. When we come to the Lord’s Supper, we acknowledge that Christ is seated at the head of the table because He is the head. But if a woman is in rebellion against her marital head, then how can she rightly acknowledge the headship of Christ? And if a man is abdicating his role as head of his wife, then how can he rightly lead his wife and family, sacrificing himself for them? Disobedience at this point cannot be corrected later on by understanding the Supper in isolation from our lives, in isolation from our lives together as men and women.

When we do not know who we are, male and female, men and women, this is nothing less than a fundamental derangement of our lives. And when our lives are deranged in this way, we must repent and ask God to nourish and teach us here.

So as you come to the Supper now, you are declaring in faith a whole series of headship relations. The head of Christ is God, the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man. You cannot separate one from another, and you should not try.

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