Grace Notes 2021-06-30
I read somewhere recently that Christianity is not like knitting. And not being one to knit, or know how, the statement garnered my attention. What is knitting like, and just so, how is the practice of faith unlike it?
People who knit have something useful to do to pass the time. In some social situations it appears to afford a measure of comfort. But to the point I remember being made, the writer described knitting as something you can put down and then take up whenever you have the fancy or need for it.
We might wish the Christian Faith worked like that. Take it up when we need to. But then put it down whenever you don’t wish to be encumbered with it, and do so with the idea that it can quickly be picked up without loss when you feel the need for it. But alas, the faith does not work like that!
People who encountered the Lord Jesus before his death, resurrection and ascension did not find that he offered them a little supplement or assistance with their life. His summons and challenge to his hearers during his public ministry in Galilee and Judea was anything but mild and halfhearted. He called for a radical realignment and full-fledged commitment to his Lordship.
As he called followers he did so in the following terms, “deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Throughout Scripture, beginning with the first five Books and continuous to the end, we read of devotion with all one’s heart, mind, soul, and strength. We are urged to meditate on his Word morning, noon, and night; each and every day. We are encouraged to seek first the Lord’s reign and righteousness. This is to be the highest priority in our life.
Hey there’s nothing wrong with knitting. But indeed Christianity is not like that. It is not meant to occasionally pass the time, or to be picked up only when needed…
Since You Asked…
What do Lutherans believe is given in Holy Communion?
“We believe, teach, and confess that in the Holy Supper the body and blood of Christ are truly and essentially present and are truly distributed and received with the bread and wine. We believe, teach, and confess that the words of the testament of Christ are to be understood in no other way than in their literal sense, and not as though the bread symbolized the absent body and the wine the absent blood of Christ, but that because of the sacramental union they are truly the body and blood of Christ” (Formula of Concord, Epitome, Art. VII.)
The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10 that the bread is “a participation in the Lord’s body.” If the Lord’s body were not truly present, the bread would perhaps be a participation in his spirit. But Paul says it is a participation in his body!