"Our LORD Jesus Christ, on the night when he was betrayed, took the bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to his disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.'"
"In the same way also he took the cup after supper, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and said, 'Take, drink of this, all of you. This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'" (1 Corinthians 11:23-25; Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20)
The Large Catechism describes the Lord's Supper as "soul food" for it nourishes and strengthens Christians. For in the first instance, we are born anew through baptism. However, our human flesh and blood, as I have said, have not lost their old skin. There are so many hindrances and attacks of the devil and the world that we often grow weary and faint and at times even stumble. Therefore the Lord's Supper is given as daily food and sustenance so that our faith may be refreshed and strengthened and that it may not succomb in the struggle but become stronger and stronger. For the new life should be one that continually develops and progresses. But it has to suffer a great deal of oppression. The devil is a furious enemy; when he sees that we resist him and attack the old creature, and when he cannot rout us by force, he sneaks and skulks about at every turn, trying all kinds of tricks, and does not stop until he has finally worn us out so that we either renounce our faith or lose heart. and become indifferent or impatient. For times like these, when our heart feels too sorely pressed, this comfort of the Lord's Supper is given to bring us new strength and comfort. (LC V.23-27).
Jesus knows what his disciples need. He gives us himself for the forgiveness of sins. He is the soul food for you. Christ said, "Take, eat; this is my body. Take, drink of this, all of you. This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins, etc."
The Lord's Supper is more than meets the eye. It is not just bread and wine. It is the true body and blood of the LORD Christ, in and under the bread and wine, which we Christians are commanded by Christ's word to eat and drink (LC V.8). We trusts Christ's words in this supper that he instituted one day before Good Friday. The bread is truly his body. The wine is truly his blood. Christ's lips speak and say, so it is (LC V.14).
For in this sacrament he offers us all the treasures he brought from heaven for us, to which he most graciously invites us in other places, as when he says in Matthew 11:28: "Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Surely it is a sin and a shame that, when he so tenderly and faithfully summons and exhorts us for our highest and greatest good, we regard it with such disdain, neglecting it so long that we grow quite cold and callous and lose all desire and love for it. We must never regard the sacrament asa harmful thing from which we should flee, but as a pure, wholesome, soothing medicine that aids you and gives life in both soul and body. For where the soul is healed, the body is helped as well (LC V.66-68).
The Small Catechism raises the question who, then, receives this sacrament worthily? Answer:
Fasting and bodily preparation are in face a fine external discipline, but a person who has faith in these words, "given for you" and "shed for you for the forgiveness of sins," is really worthy and well prepared. However, a person who does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared, because the words "for you" require truly believing hearts. (SC VI.9-10).
Prior to admission to the Lord's Supper, it is necessary to be instructed in the Christian faith. If you are not a member of our church please talk to the pastor before worship and prior to receiving communion (1 Corinthians 4:1; 11:28) or contact us. We use the Small Catechism for discipleship.