Reflections: Wednesday of the Third-Last Week

Today’s Reading: Small Catechism: Sacrament of the Altar, part 3

Daily Lectionary: Jeremiah 22:1-23; Matthew 25:1-13

What is the benefit of this eating and drinking? These words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,” shows 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 VI, Lord’s Supper, 3rd question)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There is much benefit to taking the Lord’s Supper at your congregation. It may not seem like it. Don’t go by what it seems like. As with everything in the Lord’s Supper, what it seems like is not what it is. What it is, is what Jesus’ Word says. So close your eyes and open your ears, hearing the Word of the Lord. That Word today says, ‘Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.’

Forgiveness of sins is not a small, trivial matter. Forgiveness of sins is the difference between life and death. Now here one might object and say, ‘But I have forgiveness of sins without the Lord’s Supper!’ That may be, but remember what holds on to the forgiveness of sins – that is, faith. Faith is not an arrogant, stubborn attitude that objects to what God gives. Anyone who objects to what God wants to give should also look carefully at himself and ask himself if he even has faith. Because faith in Christ gladly receives what Jesus wants to give. Faith in Christ can never get enough of what Jesus wants to give, especially where the forgiveness of sins is concerned. Smug unbelief and arrogance, however, object to what Jesus gives. Smug unbelief and arrogance don’t want the forgiveness Jesus gives nor does an unbeliever think he needs that forgiveness. Thus, smug unbelief and arrogance will be condemned on the last day, no matter how many times that person says to Jesus, ‘Lord, Lord.’

Jesus knows what you need more than you do. He sees clearly, your vision is distorted. So trust the One who died and rose, who also says His Supper is ‘Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.’ Trust this Word and find spiritual comfort in it. By taking the Sacrament in faith and the same confession of the faith, you take this precious gift for your forgiveness and sanctification. Despite your sins, Jesus says this Sacrament is given for you. Trust Him then, and gladly receive.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

“In these last days of great distress, Grant us, dear Lord, true steadfastness That we keep pure ‘til life is spent Your holy Word and Sacrament.” (LSB 585:2; text, copyright Concordia Publishing House, 1982)

-Pastor Robert Mayes is Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church and Zion St. John Lutheran Church in Beemer and Wisner, NE.

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.