"Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body & blood of the Lord."
(1 Corinthians 11:27)
If you've grown up in and around churches most of your life, you've probably heard the admonition to avoid taking Holy Communion "in an unworthy manner." Usually, the implication is you're not to receive the bread & cup if there's any SIN in your life. Don't come forward if all is not right between you and God. It seems logical at first glance, doesn't it? But I don't think this is what it means (at least, not after reading ALL of 1 Corinthians 11).
Beginning at verse 17, Paul begins to address a growing problem in the Corinthian church. It seems people are using Holy Communion as a MEAL. Not a "spiritual meal," to be "fed" by the grace of God (which it is)... but a literal meal! They're taking dinner-sized portions of bread & drinking enough wine to get drunk! (Can you just imagine staying up at the Communion Table for seconds, thirds, etc... until one is drunk!) I love how Paul sticks it to them in verse 22: "What! Do you not have homes to eat and drink in?"
This is the "unworthy manner" he speaks of in v.27. Not the condition of your heart (all of our hearts are in need of God's grace!)... but the condition of your stomach! So come one and come all to the Table of the Lord! Experience God's forgiving grace & mercy... (just eat at home first!).