Devotion for October 7, 2023

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” (1 Corinthians 11:26)

When I started attending services in the Lutheran Church in my mid 20s, the first words I remembered were the Words of Institution. Each Sunday, the pastor would speak these same words. There was reverence and majesty to them. Before too long, I would silently follow along with the pastor, receiving these words, even before I was confirmed and able to join in with the other congregation members, shuffling forward to receive the wafer and the wine, the body and blood of our Lord.

There is nothing ordinary about the gift of Holy Communion. In this extraordinary meal, Jesus gives us his body and blood to eat and drink. After consuming these ordinary elements, the extraordinary thing is that Christ is now inside us, making us holy and setting us aside for his work as we serve others. We carry Christ with us, and now we shine his light wherever and whenever we serve.

Every time we join fellow Christians in eating and drinking the Lord’s Supper, we proclaim Jesus’ death. What follows is his resurrection to new life. Death, resurrection and eternal life are proclaimed through the eating and drinking of Jesus’ body and blood. It is proclaimed to those who are gathered together, strengthening us in our faith journey, all as part of the one body of Christ.

Our proclamation also extends to our family, friends and community. It says we continue believing in what Jesus has done for us and all people. The new life, won through Jesus’ death on the cross 2000 years ago outside of Jerusalem, continues to be delivered to us by the Holy Spirit, bringing to us the real presence of Jesus Christ.

The Words of Institution is not a magic incantation, but it is the means by which we continue to proclaim our trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection to new life. Together with the elements, they bring us forgiveness of our sins, strength for the life we live now, and the promise of eternal life.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus’ death on the cross, by whom we are saved. Help us proclaim Jesus’ death and resurrection to new life to those with ears to hear. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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