Communion Is . . .

I. More than a Memory.

Many Christians reduce the Lord's Supper to a mere shadow of its true substance. In fact, Christ has left us a Meal of His true Body and Blood in bread and wine for our forgiveness. Link back here after the New Year for more on this Sacrament.

II. More than a McDonald's Happy Meal.

Most Christians expect to be treated at the Lord's Table the way they are treated at the drive through line at McDonald's. They expect to come in relative anonymity, have their expectations met, drop some money in somebody's hand and go away - maybe to come back (if they liked the experience), but maybe not. The Lord's Supper is not a Happy Meal, however. It is Communion in Christ's Body and Blood, and so it involves communion with each other. Link back here after the New Year for more on bringing our expectations into proper alignment with the nature of Holy Communion.

III. Open to the Repentant. Closed to the Unrepentant.

Here's where we lose most people! Having no experience with Communion as anything other than a kind of spiritual coffee and donut moment on Sunday morning, people figure it's the height of rudeness when we Lutherans don't immediately admit them to the altar! They are offended, and we understand that. They've never been taught otherwise. Well, we'd like to provide some detailed explanations here about the reason the orthodox Church has always practiced Closed Communion, admitting only those who are repentant and together in the same faith, while keeping all others away, until they have come to repentance and faith in the Gospel - not just in part, but in all of its articles. Link back here after the New Year for more.

Real Food
for Real Sinners

If you've got cancer, you don't need a placebo, right?

In fact, you'd be pretty upset if you went to the doctor, and instead of actually giving you chemo-therapy or radiation treatment, he just went through the motions - SAYING he was treating you, but in reality, only TESTING to see if your BELIEF has any real affect on whether you get well.

OK, so tests like that have demonstrated that there IS some benefit in having a positive attitude. The brain is a mighty powerful thing, isn't it? Praise God for His wonderful creation!

So, I guess you wouldn't be all that upset then if your doctor gives you sugar pills from now on?

HA! Think again! A right and proper attitude IS important, but when you need chemo, you need chemo. When you need the medicine or treatment your illness calls for, sugar pills and thinking happy thoughts won't do the trick.

If you happen to subscribe to alternative healing methods with respect to things like cancer, fine. God works through a variety of means and methods to heal the body. But try thinking happy thoughts about the healing of that broken bone that's poking through your skin!

At some point, shy of God working a genuine, bona-fide, straighten-out-that-bone-before-my-very-eyes miracle (which He CAN do), everyone must admit, finally, that if you're REALLY in need of healing, REAL healing is what you need!

Most Christians just get sugar pills on Sunday morning, especially at the Lord's Table. The pastor and people have no intention of eating and drinking anything more than bread and wine. Usually, it's not even wine. It's just grape juice.

Admittedly, they come with some very positive and happy thoughts about the bread and grape juice. They use them to remember Jesus and His death for them. But all they eat and drink are bread and grape juice.

That's just sugar pills; a spiritual placebo, to which - hopefully - people will add faith in Christ's True Sacrifice for our salvation. We Lutherans, on the other hand, give you the real deal; real Food for real sinners; real Medicine of Immortality for people really dying of the mortal disease called sin.

If Jesus had given bread and grape juice for us on a cross, bread and grape juice would be enough to save us. That's not what Jesus gave. He gave His Body and His Blood.

The night before He gave those into death for us, He made sure Christians would keep getting them, until He comes again in glory. Read Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; and 1 Corinthians 11:23-25.

Jesus isn't concerned with leaving us bread and grape juice, because bread and grape juice won't save us. He isn't even concerned with leaving us bread and wine. What He left us in the bread and wine are what He gave for us for our salvation: His true Body and His true Blood! Those are real food for real sinners. They are real Medicine to people who need real healing!

Lutherans don't practice a placebo Christianity. Only REAL Flesh and Blood were given into death for us upon a cross. Only REAL Flesh and Blood are given to us in the bread and wine of Christ's Communion.

Jesus isn't some doctor who experiments on people, giving out plain sugar to see how far believing goes. As the Physician of our souls, He gives what heals us, what saves us, what will raise us up on the Final Day. He gives exactly what His words have promised: "Take, eat, this is My BODY, given into death for you. Take, drink, this is My BLOOD, poured out for the forgiveness of sins."

We Lutherans really believe that. I guess anyone would, if they believed they were sinners in need of REAL healing! So, that's what you get here. . .

Real Food
for Real Sinners

Want to talk to Pastor Sawyer about receiving instruction toward Christ's Supper for Real Healing? Give him a call at (601) 992-4752, or email him. He's got Good News for you, and will wrap you up in Jesus!

Click here to see our "About Us" page, and link to more about Good Shepherd and Lutherans.