Daily Lectionary: Ezekiel 3:12-27; Romans 2:1-16
Who receives this Sacrament worthily? Fasting and bodily preparation are certainly fine outward training. But that person is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” But anyone who does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared, for the words, “for you” require all hearts to believe. (The Small Catechism: Sacrament of the Altar, Part 5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The irony of the Lord’s Supper is that those who think they deserve it don’t, and those who know they have no claim on God, sinners who have no hope in themselves—it was for them this Supper was instituted.
What did it take for you to be ready to receive the Lord’s Body and Blood? A few years of confirmation instruction? Did you have to memorize the catechism (and do you still remember it)? Those are all good things to do. It’s important to know what we believe and what it is Christ has done for us.
But receiving the Supper of Christ comes down to this confession: “I’m a sinner. Without Jesus, I would go to hell. Therefore, I need Jesus. And He gives me His very self in His Body and Blood. He gives it for the forgiveness of all my sins. He promises to raise me from the dead on the Last Day.”
Sometimes folks overthink or despise the Lord’s Supper. They say it’s not Jesus’ Body and Blood. Or they want to receive it but don’t want to give up their sins. Or they say they’re not really bad sinners. That is to not believe Jesus’ words. Repent of any thinking like that!
On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished.” Your salvation is a done deal. In this holy meal of His Body and Blood, Jesus is giving you a sure promise that His death was indeed for you—that your sins are actually and truly forgiven forever and that you will live again even though you die. Once again, this promise is sure because of those words of Jesus: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” You can be sure that’s for you! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
I do not merit favor, Lord, My weight of sin would break me; In all my guilty heart’s discord, O Lord, do not forsake me. In my distress this comforts me That You receive me graciously, O Christ, my Lord of mercy! (Lord Jesus Christ, Life-Giving Bread, LSB 625:4)