Exhortation to Communion

Dear Friends: The Lord hath instituted His Holy Supper to be desired and received by His disciples. Therefore, also, the Church was formerly obedient to Him, and celebrated the Communion ever Lord’s day. Not only one or two individuals would then receive, but the whole congregation; even the sick always communed, the elements being carried from the altar to their homes. In our day, however, many of our members cannot be persuaded to come frequently to the Table of the Lord, nevertheless it should not often occur that the Communion is altogether omitted from the Morning Service; and much less should any refuse to come after the gracious invitation has been given, as has recently happened among us. The command of our Lord Jesus Christ: “This do, as oft as ye do it, in remembrance of me,” the heed of your souls while in this troublesome world, and the precious promise of the forgiveness of sins, should move all of us to desire this Bread and this Cup. But now we say, We are rich, and increased with goods, and we have need of nothing [Rev. 3:17]; therefore we do not receive what He offers, nor come when He invites. Hence it is not surprising that we are wretched, poor, blind and naked [Rev. 3:17], full of sin, burdened with an evil conscience, and without desire to do good. And the longer you delay, the worse your condition becomes, so that we must all exceedingly fear God’s wrath. I therefore exhort and beseech you, dearly beloved brethren, that you be more circumspect in the future, consider more earnestly the things that belong to your peace [Luke 19:42], and receive grace from the fullness of Christ. For He is rich toward all who seek Him, and those who come to His Table shall be satisfied with the abundance of His House. Nor ought any one to say that the frequent celebration serves to bring the Sacrament into contempt, for those who are rightly prepared will always hunger for this Bread and thirst for this Drink; and the more frequently they commune, the firmer becomes the persuasion that all of the earthly life is only a preparation for the celebration of the great Supper on high. “Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house, they shall still be praising Thee; Selah [Psalm 84:4].” God be merciful to you, and supplant your lukewarmness with heavenly earnestness. Amen.

Exhortation to the Sacrament, to be given especially on Sundays when the Lord’s Supper is not received, or when Communion had been announced the previous Sunday and none or very few come to receive it.  From Wilhelm Loehe’s “Liturgy for Lutheran Congregations.”

Timotheos

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