The Lord's Supper
This week I am starting a new series in which we will be taking a look at our practice of celebrating Holy Communion, or what Luther like to call it “The Lord’s Supper”.
You may or may not realize it, but Lutherans are among the only Protestants that insist that Holy Communion is the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. And perhaps different than with the Roman Catholic Church we believe, teach, and confess that we receive His body and blood with the bread and wine. Rome speaks of it no longer being bread and wine.
Lutherans do not have a good explanation of how ordinary bread and wine come to also provide us with Christ’s body and blood. We simply take our Lord at His Word that when we receive and eat the bread, Christ is giving us His body, and when we sup from the cup, Christ is giving us His blood.
The whole matter is not hocus-pocus, but it is a miracle. And it is not the power of the bread and wine, or of our eating and drinking. It is God’s Word! The Word pertaining to Holy Communion involves the words of Institution where Christ says “take and eat, this is my body;” and then “drink … this cup is the new covenant in my blood.” The special promise accompanying the eating and drinking is found in the words “given and shed for you for the remission of sins.” So here we witness a combining of God’s Word with bread and wine, and it is combined so that we might eat and drink it!
If Holy Communion is what we believe, teach, and confess it to be, then it is the most extraordinary meal we can imagine. And when we consider the host of this meal, our Lord Jesus Himself, and who we share it with, our dear brothers in sisters in Christ, than we begin to appreciate why we would want to fittingly adorn the trappings surrounding this meal.
Since You Asked…
What is the significance of Christ the King Sunday?
The Festival of Christ the King marks the end of the long season after Pentecost, and it anticipates the day when Christ will return and be revealed to everyone as the rightful ruler of the world. The appointed lessons for the day make it clear that at the end of the age Christ will come in power and great glory. Previous to this we have known his gentle rule. We have known King Jesus as the one who shed his blood to free us from the grips of sin and death. But when he comes again in glory he will come to judge the living and the dead. There will then be no doubt as to who the sovereign of the cosmos is!