“The Lord’s Supper”

 

 

 The treasure of the Church is the good news that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. Christ is the living Lord of his Church. He alone is our Great High Priest. Because he has done all that is necessary on the cross, we have no further need for priests. He is the sole Mediator (1 Tim 2:5). He is living today and comes to us through the means of Word and sacrament.

The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament, that is, a gift from God to us. It is not essentially an act or rite in which we give something to God. Therefore we do not use the term “Eucharist,” which means “Thanksgiving.” This term is commonly used by those who regard the sacrament as the church’s sacrificial offering, through the action of a sacramental priest, to God.

In his Supper, our Lord gives his last will and testament to us, his heirs – promised forgiveness of sin (Heb 9:15-22) and life. The Words of Institution are God’s address to us; therefore the appropriate form for them is a free-standing proclamation to us, his heirs, and not buried within a “eucharistic prayer” offered by the pastor/priest to God.

For the sake of good order our pastor administers the sacrament. However, we also allow appointed lay leaders to serve in this role when needed. We are free to adopt this practice because all the power of the sacrament is in the Word alone: “The gospel is the power of God for salvation” (Rom 1:16).

[See also Section 5 of our Charter of Freedom]

 

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Thanks to CrossAlone for this article.

Thanks to ‘Waiting For The Word’, for the photo.

 

 

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Gerhard Forde on the Lord’s Supper

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click here 

The-Lord’s-Supper-as-the-Testament-of-Jesus

Image008 by Digital Salad

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When we receive the Lord’s Supper, we are receiving the gift of Jesus’ last will and testament, according to Dr. Forde. We are receiving Christ Himself.

 

A lawyer hires someone to find an heir to someone’s estate. That person finds the man, a toothless, homeless bum, and brings him up to the lawyers office. His identity is verified and it is proven that this man is the nephew of the deceased, whom the deceased has named in his will to receive a sum of 5 million dollars.

The will is read to the man. It is done. The man will receive the 5 million dollars.

 The man does not have to say if he liked his uncle or not. The man does not have to show that he understands how it is possible for all of this to take place. The man does not have to explain what it is he is going to do with the money. The man just gets the money…period. He is the beneficiary of his uncle’s gift. That’s it.

I think this is what Forde is saying that the Lord is doing at His Supper. This is the Lord’s Testament. He gives to us everything that He desires to give to us in that meal… His very life. His very essence. All because of His good and gracious will for undeserving sinners.

Yes, the Sacrament IS the gospel! The pure, unmitigated grace of God, given to those that would take it for granted, abandon Him, and run to other gods almost every chance they get.

This is love! Love that is hard for us to believe (and quite often we refuse to believe it). But it is true. And it is true… for you. “For you”…the two most important words that accompany the bread and the wine.

 

That’s what I believe.

How about you?

 

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Off to receive what the world could never buy.

The forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. The pure gospel. The body and blood of our Savior.Last Supper by Orchard Lake

I need it. Not just once (way back then), but regularly. Because I am a sinner. Because the world cares not about me. Because the devil and his minions would rip me away from my Savior. Because there is a battle going on. It rages on (whether we realize it, or not).

This IS my body. This IS my blood. Broken and shed FOR YOU!

This is not some silly rememberance of something we can’t even remember. This is not some pious exercise where we can see how much faith we can gin up.

This IS God coming to us. Forgiving us. Feeding us. Assuring us. Loving us. Giving us His very life.

Just bread and wine? I don’t believe so. There is much more…much more to it than that.

 

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Quiz question of the day.

Who said this: “If you do not eat my body and drink my blood,  you have no life in you.”

A.  Martin Luther

B.  John Calvin

C. Jesus Christ

D. Rick Warren

E. Larry the Cable Guy 

 

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In praise of “going through the motions”

 

By Glen Scrivener of Christ-the-Truth

Isaiah warned us and Jesus repeated it – it’s hypocritical to honour the Lord with your lips while your heart is far from Him (Isaiah 29:13; Mark 15:8). It’s something I pray about every Sunday, “As I preach or pray or sing, may my lips and my heart be set on the Lord Jesus.” But there’s another danger. We can react the other way and disdain anything ‘external’. We say to the world: “I reject ‘works’, I’m all about the inward life.” And so we’re constantly taking our spiritual temperatures. We neglect ritual (as though it always leads to ritualism). And we start to think of faith as a thing – the one really meritorious work! The faith-works polarity becomes, in our thinking, an internal-external polarity. Internal – good. External – bad. We start to imagine that mental acts are good old grace while physical acts are nasty old law. But that’s not how it is. There can be a crippling legalism of the heart (ever felt it?) and there can be a wonderful liberation in gospel rituals (ever experienced that?). Take communion. Please. No but seriously, take it. Because here is a gospel ritual which, because it is external, brings home the grace of Jesus all the stronger. We are not (or at least we should not be!) memorialists. Jesus has not left us a mental duty with the bread and wine as mere thought prompters. We have been left a meal. To chew. And to gulp down. There are motions to go through. And they are the same motions we performed last week. And the week before that. But here’s the thing – these motions are means of God’s grace and not in spite of their externalism but because they are external. Here is a gift that comes to you from outside yourself. And it comes apart from your internal state. But nonetheless it is for you – sinner that you are. So take it regardless of whether your heart is white-hot with religious zeal. Take it regardless of whether you are really, really mindful of the gravity of it all. And as the minister prays the prayer of consecration and your mind wanders… oh well. Don’t ask him to start again. Go through the motions I say. Your heart is meant to catch up with the motions. That’s why the motions were given. Because our hearts are weak and not to be trusted. So allow the Word to come to you from beyond. Allow Him to love you first. Don’t disdain ‘going through the motions.’ For many on a Sunday – those grieving or sick or gripped by depression – they need to be carried along by these motions. And for all of us – if we’re going to be people of grace, we need these externals.

 

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Nice job, Glen!

 

You are another non-Lutheran who gets it.

 

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Off to be killed…

…and then raised again.Be More Human / Mehr Mensch Sein by an untrained eye

Not going to receive any special instructions. Not going to find out any secrets for spiritual living.

Not going to get prodded with the stick of how I should be feeding the poor and helping the sick, and visiting the lonely…(all of which I should be doing).

I am going to receive the Word of God. I am going to (by the grace of God) receive from Him His law, in order to kill me off yet once again to my little ‘No  thank you God I can do it myself ‘ project. And then recieve from Him His promise of life, the forgiveness of my sins, my salvation…in the gospel, and in the body and blood of our Dear Lord who has poured out Himself for me (us)…which is pure gospel (no law).

This is a picture of baptism, by the way.

Death and Resurrection.  Repentance and Forgiveness.  Dying and Rising.

 

Isn’t that enough?

 

“You must eat my body and drink my blood”

“You must eat my body and drink my blood or you have no life in you.” (John 6:53)The Ultimate Gift: Communion (Walford's Advent Cross, as backdrop), Jan 2009 by johnwalford

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OK.  Jesus said it.  He says “truly, truly…” before he says it.

Do you really think it is quite as serious as that? Or are we making too much of this command?