Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 11:1-12:6; 2 Peter 2:1-22
What is the Sacrament of the Altar? It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink (The Small Catechism: Sacrament of the Altar, Pt. 1).
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Do you jump out of bed on Sunday morning because there’s another chance to eat and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus? Or is the Sacrament just one more thing to blow off when you’ve got other more important things to do? The catechism reminds us that the Sacrament of the Altar is given to us Christians to eat and drink. That means that if we’re Christians, we’ll eat and drink it.
Some people let weeks, months or even years pass without receiving the Lord’s Supper. But to be a Christians is to hunger and thirst for that very gift by which we have forgiveness of sins, life and salvation.
Jesus died on the cross and rose again, taking away our sins. That forgiveness is given to us in a special way in the Sacrament of the Altar, because by His Body and Blood, Jesus lives in us and we live in Him. Plus, He promised that to eat and drink His Body and Blood means He will raise us up on the Last Day (John 6:54). Who wouldn’t desire that?
The purpose of the Lord’s Supper is to deliver Christ’s forgiveness. It’s a gift—a saving and life-giving gift. On the one hand, we don’t make laws and rules about it and say how many times and how often you have to receive it. On the other hand, since Jesus gave us this gift, we have to wonder when someone despises this holy Supper and doesn’t ever come to receive it.
Beware of thinking the Sacrament is just one more religious thing you should do once in a while! Rather, see it as the wonderful gift that it is: forgiveness, life, and salvation. Christ has instituted this meal of His Body and Blood for you, dear Christian. The One who hung upon the cross now comes to you on the altar to feast upon His flesh and blood and have eternal life. That’s not a burden, but a joyous gift! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, You have prepared This feast for our salvation; It is Your body and Your blood, And at Your invitation As weary souls, with sin oppressed, We come to You for needed rest, For comfort, and for pardon. (Lord Jesus Christ, You Have Prepared, LSB 622:1)