Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity – Tuesday
Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief! – Mark 9:24.
Faith, the faith of a poor sinner in his Savior Jesus Christ, constitutes the only true worthiness when appearing at the Lord’s Supper. But how about those whose faith is weak? May they approach the Lord’s Table? Who is to be called weak of faith? Why, one who indeed believes in his Savior, but whose faith wants strength, and whose spiritual life, accordingly, is also weak, but—and note this well—who deplores his weakness and earnestly desires to be stronger, a person who cries like the father of that child tormented by the devil, tearfully perchance, and says: “Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief!”
May such a person go to the Lord’s Supper? Yes, indeed. He particularly should partake of the Lord’s Supper, that his weak faith may grow stronger by using this Means of Grace! O the Savior rejoices when such a one comes to Him, and there to be helped by Him. He says: “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). Isaiah already prophesied of the Savior: “A bruised reed shall He not break, and the smoking flax shall He not quench” (Isaiah 42:3).
And is not one whose faith is weak just like a bruised reed and smoking flax? Ah, the weak in faith is so miserable, and feels himself so unworthy and meek. But “the meek shall eat and be satisfied” (Psalm 22:26). A person whose faith is weak is precisely the one who needs the spiritual medicine offered in the Lord’s Supper. Shall he take that medicine? Yes indeed! Does this comfort you, my dear Christian?
PRAYER – Ah, my Lord Jesus, what am I? I am a weak, miserable person, like a bruised reed, easily shaken by the devil, the world, and the flesh, and my faith is but a smoking flax, not burning with a bright and powerful flame. I know this and deplore it. And Thou wouldest still have me; and Thou wouldest help me and heal me and make me strong. For this I give Thee thanks, Lord Jesus! And behold, I come to Thy Supper and to Thee to be helped and healed by Thee. Amen.
Thou shalt hold with faith unshaken,
That this food is to be taken
By the sick who are distressed,
By those whose heart is sin-oppressed.
Hymn 441, 4. (ELHB)