Table Fellowship as Gospel
We’ve said this morning that Advent means the coming of the Lord to reform worship, to enable a priestly people to offer sacrifices that are pleasing to God. In Leviticus the sacrifices of God are referred to as the “bread” of God (e.g. Lev. 3:11). And in those sacrifices there were usually portions that were burned on the altar for God to “consume” and portions that were taken and eaten by the Levites and priests. Of course we know that God was not literally hungry; it wasn’t as though if the priests forgot to offer the sacrifice God would starve. The point was that God wanted table fellowship with his people. He wanted to commune with them. This is one way worship has been reformed in Jesus: now we are all the sons of Levi in Jesus Christ. We have been washed and anointed in baptism like the Levites. We are the holy people of God, and therefore are all authorized to come to this table and eat bread with the Lord. But if the gospel of God is breaking bread with one another, offering it up as a sacrifice of praise to God, this means that this is what the gospel looks like. This is the gospel, the good news that we can have fellowship with God and one another here at this table through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is worship reformed; this is the grace and mercy of God: peace with God and man. This is tidings of comfort and joy; this is joy to the world; this is good news.