Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: Sacrament of the Altar, part 1
Daily Lectionary:Deuteronomy 28:1-22; Matthew 18:1-20
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. (Luther’s Small Catechism: Sacrament of the Altar, Part 1)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
How do you know something is what it is? Is it in the conviction you are told of it? Is it that you have seen or touched it? Is it because the person who told you of it, you already respect and trust?
When it comes to the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, you can have full confidence it is what it is. We are told by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul recording these words, Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread … “Take eat; this is My body, which is given for you.” And “He took the cup after supper … “this cup is the New Testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”
We trust these words are what they are and do what they say, “forgive”. And to receive the full benefit of this “forgiveness” is to participate. But to participate, you will not find this specific meal at the diner of IKEA, or COSTCO, or your family’s favorite haunt for Sunday brunch. You will only find this specific meal where it has been designed and instituted to be, where the gathered Brothers and Sisters in Christ gather to hear God’s Word and receive His Sacrament, Church.
Sadly though, not all churches teach and practice as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ intended this meal to be. Some do not believe it possible for Jesus to be physically present in the bread and wine. Some believe the bread turns into Jesus’ body, the wine turns into Jesus’ blood. Unfortunately, their human minds are unable to take Jesus Christ at his Word, and in so doing, miss out on receiving Heaven on earth and all the blessings that come with this. This is why it is so important to trust the words Jesus Christ spoke. In the bread IS Christ’s body. In the cup (wine) IS Christ’s blood. Christ is truly present in both, enabling you who receive this, Heaven on earth. This is a blessing which goes beyond all human understanding. Keeping your hearts and minds fixed on the true hope when you breathe your last in this world, you continue in the one to come beyond death, Heaven itself.
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
He speaks the Word the bread and wine to bless: “This is My flesh and blood!” He bids us eat and drink with thankfulness This gift of holy food. All Human thought must falter – Our God stoops low to heal, Now present on the altar, For us both host and meal! (“Wide Open Stand the Gates” LSB st. 2)
-Rev. Carl Thiele is the Parish Pastor in Rosewood, Queensland, Australia
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.