Supper and Salvation

Bread of the world in mercy broken,

Wine of the soul in mercy shed,

By whom the words of life were spoken,

And in whose death our sins are dead;

Look on the heart by sorrow broken,

Look on the tears by sinners shed;

And be Thy feast to us the token

That by Thy grace our souls are fed.  (Reginald Heber)

 

The Eucharist stands as a bulwark against reducing our participation in salvation to the exercise of devotional practices before God or being recruited to run errands for God.  It is hard to get through our heads, but the fact is that we are not in charge of salvation and we can add nothing to it.

Left to ourselves to decide what is appropriate, we will only distract or dilute.  Salvation is a way of life in which what we cannot do for ourselves is done for us by Jesus on the cross.  At the supper we renew our understanding and obedience in this salvation reality and receive over and over again what we cannot take or perform for ourselves but only receive.

“Do this.” This Supper, received in the fear-of-the-Lord, is the remembrance and the proclamation that keep salvation rooted and grounded in Christ, and only in Christ.

Eugene Peterson

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