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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
Concerning the Mass – part 55

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1 Corinthians 11:27–29

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Mass 

Some clever people imagine that the Lord’s Supper was instituted for two reasons. First, that it might be a symbol and testimony of profession, just as a particular shape of hood is the sign of a particular profession. Then they think that such a symbol is especially pleasing to Christ because it is a feast that signifies mutual union and friendship among Christians, since banquets are signs of concord and friendship. But this is a secular view that does not show the chief use of the things delivered by God. It speaks only of the exercise of love, which is understood by profane and worldly people. It does not speak of faith, which few understand.

Pulling It Together

Drawing significance to professions, making divisions among ourselves, is the furthest thing from the focus of the Lord’s Supper. Christ is the emphasis of our communion. Christ is our communion. This is why faith is critical, why we must examine ourselves to be sure we are eating and drinking rightly. When our faith is in Christ, instead of our position in the church (or someone else’s), then we eat and drink in a worthy manner. We dishonor the communion of saints when these divisions are celebrated among us, when we separate ourselves into classes and ranks in the church, especially at the table. We are too much like secular institutions at this point. How can their be a communion of saints who commune with their Lord, when he is not present to them? If he is not the focus, but they and their trappings are, all is lost. Worse, they eat and drink judgment upon themselves. Eating and drinking in a worthy manner, requires faith in and focus upon the one who established the meal. All eyes on Christ! The banquet is prepared.

Prayer: Help me to believe, O Lord, and so, partake of you in a worthy manner. Amen.

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