From the Word
14 And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. 15 And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And he took 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.”
Luke 22:14–19, RSV
If you desire to render a precious noble service to God, and duly to honor the passion of Christ, bethink yourself of the Sacrament and partake of it. His praise and honor are bound up with it. This is his memorial. There is no show of garment or ceremony filling the eye. The only agent at work is the spoken Word. On earth the Word may be lowly esteemed; but no eye can see, no ear can hear, no heart can comprehend its worth and sublimity in the eyes of God and his angels. God’s Word and work at first but feebly impress. Hence they require application and meditation. This art is effectively taught in the words, “This do in remembrance of me.” Receive, proclaim, praise and laud the tidings of the grace manifested in Christ and thank him for it. Thus you will confess with heart and mouth, with body and soul, that you have given God nothing, that you can give him nothing, but everything you have has been received from him, especially eternal life and infinite righteousness in Christ.
He who remembers Christ and honors his passion is safeguarded against error and devilish delusions of every kind. He serves and honors God. He does not despise God’s institution and order, but observes it with humility and joy. God certainly receives such honor gladly, since he has instituted the Holy Supper to be appropriated, and not to be neglected. Surely he cannot be delighted when man does not approach and receive it. Such neglect means to charge God with the folly of instituting unnecessary ordinances and with uncertainty as to what we need. But he who partakes, honors God by celebrating and aiding in the perpetuation of this memorial of Christ by proclaiming, praising and blessing the grace manifested by Christ, through his suffering, to us poor sinners. With the Lord’s Supper God has bound up his own honor, for in Christ alone he desires to be acknowledged and worshiped as our God. So far as the Holy Supper is a confession before men, the communicant proclaims Christ and teaches faith in him. He helps to spread and preserve the kingdom of Christ, strengthens the influence of gospel and sacrament, aids in the conversion of sinners and in storming the devil’s kingdom.
Luther, Martin, and John Sander. Devotional Readings from Luther’s Works for Every Day of the Year. Augustana Book Concern, 1915, pp. 391–93.