With Reverent Joy

What does it mean when a reviewer describes a book or movie as irreverent? Usually it’s meant as a compliment. We think it’s great entertainment when someone pokes fun at what many consider to be serious. We’re suspicious of authority and rules. We love to mock serious things. Even death, marriage, and love get their shares of irreverent laughter.

If that’s true, then our attitudes may need adjusting before we approach the Lord’s Table. Everything surrounding the Lord’s Supper tells us that it is an awesome mystery that demands our deepest reverence. This Supper isn’t just a church rite or custom. It was instituted by the Lord Jesus himself. The honor and respect we give to the Lord extends    to this special Supper.  Luther said that it was rightly called  the Lord’s Supper, not the Christian’s Supper. It isn’t our property; it’s the Lord’s. Therefore, we hold it in the highest regard, as we do him. Because it is the Lord’s, we carefully administer it according to his wishes.

Besides that, it was instituted on the night Jesus was betrayed. He was about to experience the agony of crucifixion, separation from God, and damnation—all so that we would never need to experience those things ourselves. Fully conscious of what the next 24 hours would bring him, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper as his “last will and testament” for his disciples. Ever since, we as disciples of Jesus have celebrated the Supper with an attitude of sober reflection in our hearts.

The pastor invites us, “Lift up your hearts.” And we do. “We lift them up to the Lord.”

Most of all, it’s the gifts given to us in the Supper that call for solemn awe. Here we receive not just a message about the Lord Jesus but the Lord Jesus himself. Here we receive his true body and blood “in, with, and under” the bread and wine. Above all, here we receive God’s full and free forgiveness for all our sins.

So we come, mindful of our sins, of the price paid to redeem us from them, and of the amazing depth of our Savior’s love for us. We gratefully receive the gift of forgiveness with joy. But it’s a joy mixed with solemn awe and touched with the deepest reverence.

Our joy is the reason that, at the beginning of our celebration of the Lord’s  Supper,  the  pastor  invites  us,  “Lift up your hearts.” And we do. “We lift them up to the Lord.”

Then we receive the Lord’s body and blood with joy—in many of our churches, on our knees.


© 2004 Northwestern Publishing House. All rights reserved.

How Can This Be Christ’s Body and Blood?

“How can Jesus give us his body and blood in the Lord’s Supper?” It’s been asked time and again. Usually, what the questioners really mean is “Jesus can’t be giving us his body and blood in the Lord’s Supper—and here’s why.” Then follows a list of reasons. For instance: “That can’t be Jesus’ body and blood because it looks, smells, and tastes like nothing but bread and wine.” Of course, the assumption is that if we can’t see, smell, or taste something, it must   not be there. But that’s just an assumption. Even carbon monoxide can be present though we can’t see, smell, or taste it.

Another person considers, “Jesus can’t give us his body in the Lord’s Supper because his body is at God’s right hand.” True, Jesus’ body is at God’s right hand. But God’s right hand is not a place like your living room or favorite chair. In fact, as Luther said, “God’s right hand is everywhere.” Jesus ascended to God’s right hand so that he could fill the whole universe (Ephesians 4:10). Jesus’ sitting at God’s right hand doesn’t take him away from us at the Lord’s altar. Instead it assures us that he is there.

God’s ways are different and deeper than ours.

Still another person objects, “Jesus’ body can’t be in the Lord’s Supper because the Lord’s Supper is being celebrated all over the world at the same time. How can a human body be in thousands of places at once?” That’s true for your body and mine. But why couldn’t a body that can walk on water, pass through walls, ascend into heaven—and above all, atone for the sin of the world—be wherever it wants to be and do whatever it wants to do?

All these objections are based on questionable ideas about Jesus. They’re also built on the assumption that the truth of Jesus’ words—“This is my body. This is my blood”—has something to do with whether we can under- stand or explain them. But there are so many things we don’t understand. God’s ways are different and deeper than ours.

That’s the reason the Lutheran church’s teaching on the Lord’s Supper doesn’t really “explain” it. We simply believe that what Jesus says is true—whether we can explain it or not. As one Communion hymn says:

Though reason cannot understand,
Yet faith this truth embraces:
Your body, Lord, is ev’rywhere
At once in many places.
I leave to you how this can be;
Your Word alone suffices me;
I trust its truth unfailing. (Christian Worship 312:5)


© 2004 Northwestern Publishing House. All rights reserved.

A Promise Kept

“Don’t worry. I’ll always be here with you,” says the hero to his beloved—and then he dies. It’s a lovely sentiment. But even in the movies, it doesn’t take the sting out of loneliness. We know that the dying hero has just made a promise he can’t keep—the promise to remain with the one he loves after his death.

When we lose a loved one, we’re grateful for our time together here on earth. We cherish each memory, and we look forward to a blessed reunion in heaven. But in the meantime, we don’t engage in romantic fantasies about our loved ones gazing down at us from the realm of the twinkling stars above or coming to us on the gentle summer breeze.

The reason is very simple. Death doesn’t work that way. Death separates us from those we love.

Thank God there’s an exception. Before Jesus was betrayed and died, he made us a promise he can keep. He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. Then he told them that what they were taking and eating was in fact his very own body. He did the same with a cup of wine. He gave it to them, encouraged them to drink it, and told them that it was, in fact, his very own blood. He solemnly charged them to continue to do this even after he was gone. He wanted them to remember his betrayal, his sufferings and death, and his resurrection.

So the Christian church has celebrated the Lord’s Supper for almost two thousand of years.

When he instituted the Lord’s Supper, Jesus gave to his disciples—and to us—an amazing promise.

When he instituted the Lord’s Supper, Jesus gave to his disciples—and to us—an amazing promise. In every Lord’s Supper, Jesus will come to us. Each time we receive the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, Scripture says, we receive the Lord himself. Not merely his words, his memory, or his love. More than that. We receive his true body and blood. It’s the same body that was nailed to the cross for us and the same blood that flowed from his hands and side. He won complete forgiveness from God for all our sins with that body and blood.

Skeptics have always wondered how Jesus could possibly keep such a promise. But, as believers in Jesus, we know him better than that. We know he’s never yet made a promise he couldn’t keep. We trust his promise in the Lord’s Supper— the promise always to come to us, with his true body and blood, to forgive and to bless.


© 2004 Northwestern Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Home Family Devotions

Home family devotions have always been a good idea! A generation or two ago it was much more common for families to gather together at home to spend time reading and discussing the truths of God’s Word. It’s still a good practice in today’s world!

Perhaps these days of pandemic have led to more parents (Moms and Dads) gathering their family together at home to read and learn God’s Word.

Who could have imagined such a change in the world around us less than a year ago? You know, God still blesses his people, even during such challenging days. Perhaps one of the biggest blessings is the role of family leaders leading their family in God’s Word!

Take a look at the following pages and prayerfully consider how you might incorporate family devotions in your home! Continue reading “Home Family Devotions”

Online Devotion Resources

Home and personal devotions and Bible reading have always been important. Over the years many of us relied upon books and other written materials for our home devotional time.

How times have changed! We are now blessed with electronic access to devotional resources of many types, including videos, live-stream and more.

Whether we are living during a time of pandemic lockdown or not, we have more spiritual growth resources available than ever before!

Following is a list and brief description of a variety of home and personal devotion and Bible reading ideas, and more! Take a look; you may get hooked! Continue reading “Online Devotion Resources”

Our Savior Lutheran Church & School