September 4, 2013 - Wednesday of the 14th Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: 2 Kings 2:1-18; Ephesians 4:1-24

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 drink. (The Small Catechism, Sacrament of the Altar)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. This Holy Communion, Eucharist, Lord's Supper, Sacrament of the Altar? Why is it such a big deal? Well, what is it? It's the true body and blood of Jesus, just as He said. He gave it to us for the forgiveness of sins. Just like the Passover lamb was killed and eaten, so Jesus is sacrificed and made our holy food.

Where is it? It's there under the bread and wine — not just any bread and wine, but the bread and wine which have Jesus' words spoken over them. It is by His Word that His promise is true, that this bread and wine give us His body and blood.

Who gives this gift? It was instituted by Jesus. True God and true man. Faith doesn't ask a million questions but rather says, "Jesus my Lord has declared this gift to be what it is and what it is for and that it is for me. It must then be His true body and blood and it must be for my forgiveness, life and salvation because Jesus Himself has said so."

For whom is it given? For us Christians. The Lord's Supper is not just for anyone. It is for Christ's people. He gives it to us so that He may live in us and we in Him. It's the special way in which He actually joins Himself to you and you to Him so that you will be raised up to everlasting life.

What do we do with it? Exactly what He says: Eat it and drink it. This is no superstitious talisman or good luck charm. This is the very body and blood of Jesus given to deliver to us all that He accomplished for us on the cross of Calvary.

People like to make up lots of questions about the Lord's Supper, but they are all answered by these simple words of the Catechism. The Sacrament of the Altar is a gift from Jesus Himself for you. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

As His pledge of love undying, He, this precious food supplying, Gives His body with the bread, And with the wine the blood He shed. (Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior, LSB 627:2)

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.