Finding Christ and Assurance at the Lord’s Table
Life can be distracting and so can the various elements at church. For instance, what do you think about when it’s time to take communion? Maybe you have an internal conflict between taking the wine or the juice? Or maybe you have a silent hope that the cracker will be larger than last time? After all, it is getting close to lunch. Maybe you look at communion as simply memorializing Jesus’ death. Didn’t Paul say, “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (I Cor. 11:25-26). Yet, didn’t we hear about his death already in the sermon? Why do we need the meal as well?
Far too often in modern Protestantism, out of a fear of being misunderstood, we have failed to talk about the nourishing presence of Jesus Christ in the sacrament of Communion. We often forget that earlier in 1 Corinthians Paul said, “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing (communion or participation) in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing (communion or participation) in the body of Christ?” (I Cor. 10:16, italics mine). Or what about the Westminster Confession that reminds us that in the meal, we truly “receive and feed upon Christ crucified.” (WCF 29.7) Upon Scriptural and historical reflection, we find, quite frankly, that the Lord’s Supper is more than a memory. The Reformed distinction, in contrast to the Roman Catholic tradition, is that this reality exists in a spiritual sense, not physical. Yet, it is a real sense!
This spiritual reality is important to me because I don’t consider my faith to be of the strong variety. I need help, and that’s what the Supper gives to me—it gives me Jesus. Jesus says, “the one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37). Every Sunday I get to physically come to Him. Every Sunday I get to partake of my Savior in a mysterious way, but in a real way. No matter the doubt. No matter the struggle. No matter the size of the cracker or if it’s wine or juice. As I come to the table, my faith—though it is small—is well feed. I remember. I proclaim. I feast and have fellowship with Christ and his people. As Chad Van Dixhoorn says, “The Lord’s Supper is like a good sermon: it is intended as food for the soul.” Won’t you come to Christ with me?