Reflections: September 9, 2020
Wednesday of the 13th Week after Trinity
By Mark Buetow
What is the benefit of this eating and drinking? These words, "Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins," show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation. (Small Catechism: Sacrament of the Altar, pt.2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Bread, but barely. Wine, but probably not the kind that tastes good. Kneeling while the pastor gives you a wafer and a sip from the chalice. Looks like a pious ritual. What's the big deal? It's not what we see, but what the Word of Jesus says is going on. That's bread and wine which are also His Body and Blood. There is a gift there that we don't see with our eyes. It is the gift of the flesh and blood of the Lamb of God who has taken away our sins.
Are your sins forgiven? Does God really forget about all the bad stuff you've done? How do you know? How can you be sure? Have you eaten and drunk the Body and Blood of Christ? Then, yep, your sins are forgiven, because Jesus says so!
Do you have eternal life? Will you really come back to life on the last day? Is your transformed body really going to come out of the grave? Is there really a paradise in the presence of God that you will enjoy forever and ever and ever? Have you eaten and drunk the Body and Blood of Christ? Then you have life! Eternal life. Everlasting life! Because Jesus says so!
Are you saved? Do you really belong to God and not the devil? Are you really immune to everything this world throws at you so none of it can keep you from heaven? Have you eaten and drunk the Body and Blood of Jesus? Then yes, you are saved. You have salvation, because Jesus says so!
That's the gist of all this. Jesus' words give us His Body and Blood and His words tell what that Body and Blood give us. Forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. After all, where there is forgiveness of sins, there's always life and salvation, too! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Firmly hold with faith unshaken That this food is to be taken By the sick who are distressed, By hearts that long for peace and rest. ("Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior" LSB 627, st. 5)
-Rev. Mark Buetow is the pastor of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois.
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