Ye Do Shew The Lord’s Death Till He Come

The Lord’s Supper proclaims Christ’s death, and does so to the unbelieving world, even to those who are not present within the Lord’s House on the Lord’s Day: where Christ’s chosen people gather week after week (day after day?) around the Lord’s gifts, the world cannot help but notice. Where are the Christians? They are with their Lord, doing what He commands, receiving what He promises. Is there are greater witness, a greater testimony, to the power of Christ’s forgiving word than Christians who actually believe it? Christians who “share Jesus” with their friends and relatives, but who often find other things to do when the rest of Christ’s Body is gathered in His House, speak a contrary and undermining word about Jesus. He’s important to me, but His actual word and promise is not. Further, those who cannot be troubled to be where Christ has promised to be—in and with His Word and Sacraments—are unlikely to talk about Jesus at all, let alone bear witness to His forgiving and life-giving love. They simply show, by where they are on Sunday morning, or whenever else the gifts are given, how seriously they take Christ’s words. To make Christ’s forgiving Word and Sacraments the central organizing principle of the new life given by Him in baptism is instead to bear witness to the central fact of the Christian life: in myself I am a sinner; therefore, I need Jesus—not in general, not how I want Him, now when I choose to be with Him, but always, ever, at every single opportunity, regardless of how I feel or what is happening in my life: I need Jesus when and where He has promised to be. The promise is essential, and Christ’s Baptism, Christ’s Absolution, Christ’s preached Word, and Christ’s Supper are the promises we have.

Timotheos

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