One of the great recoveries of the Protestant Reformation was a restoration of the Lordís Supper to the people of God. Prior to the Reformation, it was relatively rare for lay people to partake of the Lordís Supper. And when they did, they usually only had a little wafer of bread and no wine. Most of the action of the Supper Ė the Mass Ė was in the spectacle, watching the elaborate rituals of the priests as they partook up front.
Since they believed that the crucifixion of Jesus was literally repeated in the Mass, they believed that watching the Mass was something like seeing Jesus crucified and somehow the mere act of seeing made them right with God. But it is not at all enough to merely see Jesus up front. Some of you may have had the experience of having to explain to your toddler that the pastor is not God or Jesus.
But you need to know that the instinct that your toddler has is not so foreign or silly as you might think. Plenty of people come to church week after week and even though they would never say†that their pastor is Jesus, if a recording of their thoughts could be played out loud, it would become clear that they are not communing with the God of heaven, they are just doing and saying religious things in a gymnasium (or wherever), which is basically the same thing as thinking the man up front is God.
Itís not enough to see this gospel; itís not enough to mouth the words. You need this gospel in your mouth, down in your bones. And in order for that to happen, you need to know that you need†it to go down into your bones. And so let me say plainly, this meal is for the broken. This meal is for the hungry. This meal is for the sick. This meal is for sinners. This meal is for those who have failed and failed again. This meal is for people who donít measure up, who arenít good enough, who know that unless the God of heaven reaches down, they are lost. This meal is for those who know that all of that is true and all they have is rags — and faith in Jesus alone. Thatís what weíre doing here. So, come, eat, drink, and believe. And Welcome to Jesus Christ.