Reflections: June 22, 2020
By Alexander Lange
Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. (Proverbs 9:5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Lady Wisdom invites everyone to commune with her, to sit at her table and eat with her. She wants to correct and reprove us. She wants to give us instruction, the first lesson being the fear of the Lord. She promises blessing and life, warning us that the way of folly leads to death.
Many Jewish rabbis identified wisdom with the Law. Indeed, the Law is good and wise. The Law instructs us, teaching us what it means to fear the Lord. The Law promises blessing and life...to those who obey.
The apostles took the characteristics of Lady Wisdom and applied them to Jesus. For example, just as Proverbs claims that God created everything through wisdom (Proverbs 3:19), the apostles claim that God created everything through Jesus.
According to the Gospel, Jesus gives an unconditional blessing and He is the only way to life. He doesn't punish our sins, but He takes the punishment upon Himself. He dies for our folly. When people ask for something to do, Jesus replies, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent" (John 6:29).
Every Sunday you come to the table of Jesus, the true Wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). He sets before you bread and wine. This bread isn't rules and this wine isn't advice. This bread is His Body, nailed to the Cross for you, and this wine is His Blood, shed on the Cross for you!
Every Sunday the Lord communes with you. He puts on your tongue a pledge that He will forgive your sins and give you everlasting life. He gives you a foretaste of the eternal feast – a feast that you cannot access by moral efforts, but only by grace. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord, our God, in Holy Baptism You have called us to be Christians and granted us the remission of sins. Make us ready to receive the most holy body and blood of Christ for the forgiveness of all our sins, and grant us grateful hearts that we may give thanks to You, O Father, to Your Son, and to the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Prayer for a right reception of the Lord's Supper)
- Rev. Alexander Lange is pastor of Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Albany, Oregon.
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