(This semester has been as crazy as predicted, but the light is in sight! I am on my church’s theological writing team and below is a short piece that was written recently for our weekly reflection in our bulletin. )
What do you think about when it’s time to take communion? Do have an internal conflict of whether you should go for the wine and not the juice this time? Or maybe a silent hope that the cracker will be larger than last time? It is getting close to lunch. Life can be distracting and so can church. But maybe you often take the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper seriously remembering Jesus Christ and that “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” (I Cor. 11:25-26)
If you treat the Lord’s Supper as more than a mere ritual and truly dwell on the things above, I commend you, yet, I would also say: do not stop there. Far to often in modern Protestantism, out of a fear of being misunderstood, we have fail to talk about Jesus Christ’s presence in the elements and that when we partake of them we truly “receive and feed upon Christ crucified.” (WCF 29.7) Quite frankly, the Lord’s Supper is more than a memory. “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?” (I Cor. 10:16)
The answer to these questions is a resounding yes! The Reformed distinction, in contrast to the Roman Catholic tradition, is that this reality exists in a spiritual sense, not physical. Yet, it is a real sense!
I don’t consider my faith to be of the strong variety. The thoughts I think, the feelings I have, the doubts I navigate, could His promises really be for someone like me? And yet, Jesus says, “the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” (John 6:37) And every Sunday I get to physically come to Him. Every Sunday I get to partake of my Savior in a transcendent, mysterious, and real way. No matter the doubt. No matter the feeling. As I eat and drink, my faith, though it is small, is well feed. Won’t you come to the table with me? To remember. To proclaim. To feast and to fellowship. As Chad Van Dixhoorn says, “The Lord’s supper is like a good sermon: it is intended as food for the soul.”