Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Lent 2021 - Holy Communion (Belt)

Week 7 – Holy Communion

March 29 – Pastor Belt

This is it.  The climax of the Catechism.  Everything has led to here.  If there was one reason only to come to Church, it would be because of the Lord’s Supper.

            Worship is not about you giving your best to God.  When we gather together, sure you sing and pray and all that good stuff.  But you do that because God is acting, God is doing, God is saving.  That is what is happening at Church that happens nowhere else.

            In the Lord’s Supper, God is present.  If someone told you they loved you but never showed up, you would stop believing them.  Someone must show up for their words of love to be true.  Christ is physically present in this meal.   It is not a symbol of his body and blood, you are not being symbolically forgiven.  Take that American Protestant in you and send him packing.  

            This is Christ’s body and blood for the forgiveness of your sins.  How?  Because Jesus said so, and his Word made the heavens and the earth by speaking, so I trust his words being spoken.  You are receiving God’s pledge to you.  He is feeding you.  You are being made one with God.  You commune with Christ and with his whole church.  That is what you are remembering.

            The Lord’s Supper is a political statement.  You are proclaiming whose you are.  You are also joined to all believers throughout all time and space.

            How can eating and drinking do this?  Well it is faith that wants what God gives.  Faith is what is holding onto Christ here and His word “for you.”

Who gets to come to the table then?   Those who see what God is doing and want it.  Those who confess that we are indeed one because we believe the same thing.  There is no room for more than one confession at the altar.  We make God a liar if we do not honor this and God will respond and correct this.

Those who are to approach this table are sinners who want God’s mercy and cleansing.  The proud are not welcome.  The person who wants Jesus at a distance should not come forward.  Those who do not believe should be warned that if they take Communion, they are eating and drinking judgment upon themselves not forgiveness.  

When you take that wafer and drink that wine.  This is Jesus Christ himself coming toward you and saying, ‘Things between you and me are good.’  Here is my pledge to you.
The sacrament and salvation and the Gospel are so physical that you can taste it and have it gone inside you.  This is how concrete the Gospel is.  This is how you know that what God did in Christ is done for you.

With this, the Catechism’s six chief parts draws to a close.  It began with estrangement from God but ends with being united to him and to one another.  You now can live in faith toward God and in love toward one another.

God grant that for Jesus’ sake.  Amen!

March 30
Read Mark 13

March 31
Read the Holy Communion section in the Catechism and the following readings. Attend Divine Service on Maundy Thursday.

Exodus 24:3-11
Psalm 143
1 Corinthians 10:16-17
Mark 14:12-26