Brothers and Sisters, the Triune God lives the unity that Christ desires for his Church. He prays that we all may be one. He prays that unity will be the natural out-workings of a faithful Church. The Bride of Christ is not perfect, but she has a perfect husband who is daily nurturing her to perfection, to blamelessness. The husband as the great servant brings food and drink to his Bride, so she may be nourished and sustained by the husband’s love. Church of Christ, here is food and drink from your faithful husband. Come and eat and rejoice.
Every week when we come to this table, we are declaring that Jesus is King, and that His kingdom has a real, physical, tangible presence in the world. Every week as we come to this table, we are declaring that the gospel of Jesus is political. Every week as we come to this table, we are announcing to the kings of the earth that there is another King, one Jesus, and that they must submit to Him. Every Eucharist is a challenge to the kings and kingdoms of this world, to every murderous Herod. This table is a table for those who will leap for joy when they are in the fellowship of the righteous, for those who will greet one another with the peace of Christ. So, come all you faithful and let us be nourished by the Prince of Peace.
We have heard in these past sermons about the work of John the Forerunner. He plays a significant role in redemptive history. John himself is beheaded for speaking the truth to political figures. He does not see the death of His Lord, He does not see resurrection or ascension. But yet his role of preparation for Messiah was fulfilled so perfectly that He pointed his contemporaries to the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. And we are familiar with John’s motto: He must increase, but I must decrease. “Though Luke does not quote this saying, the early chapters of his gospel are written to illustrate exactly this principle. Luke tells about the greatness and miraculous conception of John (1:5-25), and then tells about the superior greatness and even more miraculous conception of Jesus (1:26-56). He tells about the birth, circumcision, and naming of John, which evokes song from a Jewish priest (1:57-80); then he tells us about the birth of Jesus, and angels fill heaven with song (2:1-14). John is the son of a priest who serves in the temple, but the Master of the temple is Jesus’ father (2:41-51).” Continue reading Communion Meditation: He Must Increase
Some have opened this table only for those who profess their particular understanding of the Lord’s Supper; others demand an incredible amount of theological wisdom in order to come to this Table, but we have no right to demand what the Scriptures do not. This table is for sinners; it is for those who repent of their sins, who desire to overcome their sins, who desire to see Jesus as their only hope. This table is for all those who have been baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Spirit. It is for the little ones, for to such belong the kingdom of heaven, and it is for those who are weary and heavy laden. This table is for you. Come and be fed and find strength in Christ your Redeemer.
We are called to come to this table in faith knowing that all that we have is the fruit of the perfect sacrifice of Christ. His body and blood makes us whole. We come also in hope. In this simple meal Christ fills us with the hope of glory. By partaking of this meal we have the hope and profound assurance that Christ will fulfill His promises to us; and this meal also is a symbol of the love of the body. When we eat and drink together we are affirming that this is a body of love. God hosts us this morning in this meal and equips us to embrace this sacred triad of faith, hope, and love.
Brothers and Sisters, the call of Hebrews is to persevere. When we come to this table we are once again declaring that Christ is our light and our salvation. We come to a table prepared for the saints of God remembering that He who began a good work in us will continue it until the last day.
Brothers and Sisters, the armor of God protects us from all the wiles of the devil and it conquers the authorities and powers. But every warrior must at some point stop and enjoy his victory. Not only does the soldier of the cross stop to feast and rejoice over the victory over his enemies, but he stops to be nourished for the battles ahead. Come and feast for Christ is our victory, come and be nourished for Christ is our strength!
People of God, we are members one of another; we are all partakers of Christ. We share a common family and a common heritage. Calvin writes that this supper is “to exhort us to all holiness and innocence, inasmuch as we are members of Jesus Christ; and specially to exhort us to union and brotherly charity…” The word of God does that and this New Covenant meal does that as well. In bread, we see the body of Christ broken and put together by God himself, so He may be exalted above the heavens. In wine, we see the blood of Christ given for our transgressions. In wine, God remembers His promise to fill the nations with gladness.
Bearing the cross is not what we expect to do in this life, but it is what we are called to do by our Savior. This morning we eat of the bread of life and drink of the heavenly wine. This meal is a meal of the kingdom. We eat and drink to be nourished; we eat and drink so tomorrow we may bear the cross for Christ’s sake. Be joyful people of God for this is your meal!