We have said many times that this meal is a feast, a celebration of victory, salvation, and life. At this meal, the Lord Jesus gives us two elements: bread which is an every day sustaining sustenance and wine which is a special, royal, and celebratory gift. If the bread is the strength and sustenance for living, the wine is the joy and vigor for living. And the two go together. Not only does Christ give us life, he gives robust, vigorous life. He gives us his own life which is always overflowing. It’s no accident that throughout history there have been attempts to separate the two and only give the bread to the congregation. It’s dangerous to give the people the wine; wine makes people’s hearts glad. It makes them sing and dance and laugh. Satan does not want the people of God rejoicing before him. Satan wants the people of God to stay tamed and brow beaten and guilty. Satan wants God’s people to be timid and worried. But the Lord Jesus is a warrior who calls his people to his table to feast. And he says you need bread and wine for the battle. You need life and you need boldness. You need vigor and gladness. You need a heart that is overflowing with joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Our nation is filled with churches who celebrate this feast as infrequently as possible and when they do, they do it like a funeral as though Jesus were still dead and we were still in our sins and often enough they serve grape juice because they’re afraid that the Triune life might suddenly break out in their midst. No wonder the church is so weak and anemic. But we must not hold back. We serve the God of overwhelming life, the God who overflows with joy and invites us to his feast, into his gladness, and he gives us his life as the strength of bread and the joy of wine. Come and rejoice. Your sins are forgiven. God rejoices over you.
-No wonder the church is so weak and anemic.-
You are on to something there…hmmm. Why did so much of the church stop celebrating in the Lord’s table? It is almost as though many are sitting in the crowed lobby waiting to be seated, when the table is already prepared. They are having great theological conversations and “feel” the presence of the Lord…but they don’t sit at the table, they don’t part take of his feast. Why? Hmmm
ok…going a little to far with the analogy! đź™‚