Eating the Word

“O LORD, You know; remember me and visit me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In Your enduring patience, do not take me away. Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke. Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.” (Jer. 15:15-16) Jeremiah writes these words in the midst of God declaring judgment on Jerusalem. Jeremiah is pleading with God to have mercy on those who are repentant, those who turn from their sins and the sins of their fathers. And he cries out for God to remember, and he enacts his love and loyalty to the Lord by finding his words and eating them. He rejoiced over the words of God, and reveled in the fact that he was called by God’s own name, the name Yahweh of Hosts. In the New Covenant it is no different, it is only better. Here at this feast, having heard the word of God read and declared, we sit down together eat the word of God and rejoice in the word of God. This means that we’re rejoicing in all of the word of God, not just our favorite parts, not just the easy parts, all of it. By eating here we are declaring to God and to one another that his word is our life, and that man does not live by bread alone. And this is even more truly the case because, like Jeremiah, we are declaring that we are not our own, we have been given new names in baptism, and we are now called by the name of God, the name of Jesus, our King. In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God, and that Word, the entire law, the entire Old Testament became flesh and dwelt among us, and He gives us his body and blood for our joy and nourishment. So come eat, drink, and rejoice.

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