A Most Precious Gift….to receive often..

 15  I assume I’m addressing believers now who are mature. Draw your own conclusions: 16  When we drink the cup of blessing, aren’t we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn’t it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don’t we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? 17  Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn’t become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don’t reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. 1 Corinthians 10:15-17 (MSG)

828      Have you ever thought how you would prepare yourself to receive Our Lord if you could go to Communion only once in your life? We must be thankful to God that he makes it so easy for us to come to him: but we should show our gratitude by preparing ourselves very well to receive him.  (1)

Question:    Who, then, receives such a sacrament in a worthy way?   Answer: Of course, fasting and other physical preparations are excellent disciplines for the body. But anyone who believes these words, “Given for you,” and “Shed for you to forgive sins,” is really worthy and well prepared. But whoever doubts or does not believe these words is not worthy and is unprepared, because the words, “for you” demand a heart that fully believes.  (2)

For it is just this incomprehensible overflowing of God’s goodness, showered upon us through Christ, that moves us above all to love him most ardently in return, to be drawn to him with fullest confidence, and, despising all else, be ready to suffer all things for him. Wherefore this sacrament is rightly called “a fountain of love.(3)

I once was told that if we celebrated the Lord’s Supper to frequently, we would run the risk of it becom

English: The Lord's Supper. Christ standing at...

English: The Lord’s Supper. Christ standing at an Orthodox altar, giving the Eucharist to the Twelve Apostles. Frescoes in the upper church of Spaso-Preobrazhenski cathedral. Valaam Monastery Русский: Алтарная апсида верхнего храма Спасо-Преображенского собора Валаамского монастыря. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ing normal, not special, reduced in its meaning.  And so we celebrated it once a month, or even worse, once a quarter.

I would later be told that it was the devotion given prior to celebrating the Lord’s Supper that would stop this from happening.  THe weight of preparing those devotions then became crushing, as we believed that what we said could diminish this precious gift of God.

Luther and Escriva both knew well the miraculous nature of the Lord’s Supper, the incredible blessing of communing with Christ, of His giving Himself to us. The treasure of that moment, stilled in time, where life gets its proper perspective, where our eating and drinking aren’t just about our physical bodies needing nourishment, and its not about just our spiritual nature getting a ” holiness booster shot.”  It is about us, and Him, every part of us, all of Him, being united in a way that has been planned from before the foundation of the world.   It is the feast that is now – and not yet, – a full sampling of our eternity, a full revelation of the relationship of God and His people.

We see it even in the Old Testament, this feast of the covenant, this meal of God’s love and mercy;

 9  Then Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel climbed up the mountain again. 10  There they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there seemed to be a surface of brilliant blue lapis lazuli, as clear as the sky itself. 11  And though these nobles of Israel gazed upon God, he did not destroy them. In fact, they ate a covenant meal, eating and drinking in his presence!   Exodus 24:9-11 (NLT)

God’s plan, a most precious gift, that isn’t about the strength that we do draw from it, nor is it about the transformation that occurs to us, as we live in the presence of God.  it is about the relationship that He has created, the blessing that He wants us at His table.  Though we do not deserve it in our eyes, or in the world’s.  Yet it is for this reason that Christ dwelt among us and died, and rose, and gave us this way to know Him and His love.

So do not fail to gather together with others who know and trust in God’s love, feast together, know He is with you… as you take and eat His body, as you drink His blood.  Taste and see the goodness of God.

AMEN

 

(1)    Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2940-2942). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

(2)    Luther’s Small Catechism: Developed and Explained.

(3)     Luther, M. (1999). Luther’s works, vol. 36: Word and Sacrament II. (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald, & H. T. Lehmann, Eds.) (Vol. 36, p. 46). Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on August 4, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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