As we journey as God’s children to heaven, our good and ever merciful God has provided in this sacrament- which we call both the communion service and the Lord’s Supper- a precious and holy love feast, to strengthen us in faith and assure us our sins are forgiven. What a gift when we receive the body and blood of Jesus in and under the bread and wine! Thanksgiving and praise be forever given to God for the Sacrament of the Altar.
The Hymn writer William Williams wrote in 1745, “I am weak but thou art mighty; Hold me with thy powerful hand. Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more.”
Why do we need the Sacrament of the Altar?
As we look upon our lives in the brightness of a Holy God, who sees into the heart, and knows every thought, we find we are sinners in need of forgiveness, for we sin much every day and deserve nothing but punishment. As great as our need is, much greater is the food from heaven: the body of Jesus broken for us; the living bread from heaven given for us to eat and not die, and the precious blood of Jesus shed for the remission of all our sins. God gave this Sacrament to the Church. What a gift! In the Christian Church, God richly and daily forgives all believers all their sins. By this feast of love and grace we are drawn close to the Lover of our souls, Jesus Christ our Redeemer who has promised to never leave nor forsake us. The words of institution ring loud and clear: ” And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28
What does Jesus give us at the Communion Table?
At the Lord’s table our Lord and Savior is providing the Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness of His eternal sacrifice of Himself. Sufficient for all, given to all who come, benefiting only believers. The simplicity of Apostle John’s words, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” John 5:11-12
How is Jesus really present?
We do not try to explain how Jesus is in and under the bread and wine. We by faith believe, teach, confess and rejoice that he is present. As Luther puts it plainly, “We maintain that the bread and the wine in the Lord’s supper are the true body and blood of Christ.” As Jesus said “This is.”