Lord, quiet our hearts as we once again ponder your life giving words for us. Amen Luke 22:19-20 (NRSV)
19 Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Jesus spoke these words at the last supper on the Thursday evening before he was crucified. They are the words that pastor Delton speaks over the elements of Holy Communion every time we celebrate the sacrament. They are a reminder that Jesus gave His body and shed His blood so that in this time of the New Testament or covenant we can know the forgiveness of sins and the strength to live the Christian life.
In receiving the body and blood of Christ, under the elements of bread and wine, we are assured of God’s love in a tangible and powerful way. The sacrament of Holy Communion has been so precious to me because it is Jesus reaching out to me in a loving and a personal way to wash me clean of my sin and feed me with His very body and blood so that I am forgiven and strengthened to live as He intends.
I love Martin Luther’s response to the question “What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?” in his small catechism. He tells us that the blessing of taking the Lord’s Supper is “shown by these words, ‘Given and shed for you for the remission of sins’; namely, 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.”
Lord, thank you for the precious sacrament of Holy Communion. Thank you for the forgiveness and life that it promises through the sacrifice you made for us. Amen.