‘Hats on or off’ is all about authority and being under godly authority.
Jesus is the head of the church – he is ultimately in charge. In the family, the husband is head of his household – and that is servant leadership, loving your wife as Christ loved the church. In other words dying to self and selflessly loving her so she flourishes.
So Paul then uses that to address some issues in the church, where people’s attire is rebellious in the culture. If we look like a rebel then we are not under authority. In the culture of the time, women wore a head covering and had long hair – anything else was shameful. Likewise men had short hair. The principle is to look like you are responding to godly authority in the culture of the day. Ladies, you don’t need a hankie on your head to show that in 2018! Men looking like a hippie is still pretty rebellious 😉
Next Paul addresses some issues in their gatherings. When they meet, they eat. They ate together whenever they met together, but it was causing some issues, because people were being selfish – some weren’t sharing and some weren’t bringing what they could and were coming hungry when there was food at home. Others were getting drunk. Paul wanted that ironed out, because they also broke bread as part of the meal and that wasn’t serving its purpose if people were being selfish, gluttonous or drunk just as the bread and wine were getting passed around.
Discern the body – are there people going without? Our recent bring and shares have been perfect, but a few years ago there was a memorable occasion when some had plates piled higher than they could eat (and wasted food) while some visitors and I at the back of the queue had nothing as it was all gone. If we had broken bread at the end of the meal, the Lord would have been dishonoured.
This passage shows that the way we break bread is too religious. Just like the Last Supper, breaking bread is at the end of a shared meal. We have made it a morsel of bread in the middle of sung worship, when the early church made it part of the shared meal at the beginning or end of gathering together. A challenge!