The Power of the Lord’s Supper – pure Word and Sacrament
23 At that time I will plant a crop of Israelites (trans. “those who wrestle with God and win – see Gen 32)) and raise them for myself. I will show love to those I called ‘Not loved.’ And to those I called ‘Not my people,’ I will say, ‘Now you are my people.’ And they will reply, ‘You are our God!’” Hosea 2:23 (NLT2)
But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,* 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. Jude 20-21 NLT
If you do not want to come to the sacrament until you are perfectly clean and whole, it would be better for you to remain away entirely. The sacrament is to purify you and help you.
Any serious-minded Christian may at some time find himself wondering whether the service he is giving to God is the best it could be. He may even have times of doubting, and fear that his toil is fruitless and his life empty.…
A moment of confession here…
As I read Tozer’s words in teal – the resonated deeply with me. There are days I wonder if what I am doing is the best I can do. The ministry seems overwhelming more often than not, and while I will never doubt God’s ability to use my weakest and most minimal offerings, I truly don’t see it.
Until I see people to the altar, or I hear the shut-ins voice that says – “Pastor can your bring me communion.” (to be honest, I am usually packing up and getting ready to go by the word ‘bring’!) I will gladly leave all the paperwork and other stuff behind for those moments of pure bliss, as people are being helped and purified, not by me, but by the God in whose presence we are gathered.
That is where God confirms the promise Hosea saw in the future, where the love of God is revealed in Christ’s Body and Blood. It is where we are still – and we experientially know that He is our God, and we are His people. It is the mercy we are waiting for, in these simple moments, where the people of God share in the gifts of God. It is there, in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, where we find ourselves safe in God’s love.
You don’t have to be perfect – if you were, you wouldn’t need it. So know it is the answer to the brokenness, to the wounded heart and soul, to the stress…
He loves you! He is with you! Here in the sacrament, so you can realize He is always there..
Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 42: Devotional Writings I, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 42 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 175–176.
A. W. Tozer, Tozer for the Christian Leader (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2015).