March 24, 2016: Feasting
When the hour came, he took his place at the table… (v. 14)
John Calvin, one of the spiritual fathers of Reformed Christians, once argued vehemently for the Lord’s Supper to be celebrated every time Christians gathered. He felt this way because he believed that the Lord’s Supper was not merely a feast of remembrance, but of communion and hope as well. He believed in Jesus’ real presence at the table, and that was enough to persuade Calvin that we should eat the bread and drink the cup with the Lord every week.
Calvin meditated upon the meaning of that Last Supper scene for the longest possible time. The fruit of his deep contemplation is this moving statement:
Here at the Table Christ himself grows into one with us…There is nothing more incredible than that things severed and removed from one another by the whole space between heaven and earth should not only be connected across such a great distance but also to be united, so that souls may receive nourishment from Christ [himself].
You can find Calvin’s full description of this communion experience in his Institutes of the Christian Religion (4.17.24). But more profoundly, you can receive such nourishment from Christ yourself the next time you respond in faith to your pastor’s invitation, “Come, for all things are now ready.”
Prayer: We come to your table hungry, O Lord; feed us until we want no more!
Today’s devotional was written by Tim Brown, president and Henry Bast professor of preaching at Western Theological Seminary. This Lenten series comes from Words of Hope, whose mission is to build the church in the hard places through media. To learn more about the organization or subscribe to Words of Hope’s daily devotions, visit www.woh.org.