Third Sunday in Advent – Thursday
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to His disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body. And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. – Matt. 26:26-28.
Thus was the Lord’s Supper instituted, which Christians are to continue celebrating until the coming of the Lord Jesus. For the Holy Ghost says through Paul the Apostle: “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come” (I Corinthians 11:26).
Just as in the Word, and in Baptism, and in the absolution of Confession, so our Lord also comes to us in Holy Communion, giving us His salvation, which is forgiveness of sins, life, and eternal salvation. How clearly do we behold, particularly in the Lord’s Supper, that our dear Savior, though unseen, yet in His true body and blood, communes with us in this sad world.
In Holy Communion, under the bread and wine, He gives us His actual body and His blood – the body which was given into death for us, the blood which was shed for us for the forgiveness of sins. He gives us His body and His blood that it may be to us the most solemn and trustworthy pledge of the free forgiveness of our sins, and of life, and eternal salvation. Could He do more to prove His loving-kindness and gracious condescension?
How eagerly, therefore, ought we, poor, but highly favored sinners, to hasten to receive Him, who so kindly visits us, and bestows such gracious gifts upon us!
PRAYER. – Of a truth, my dear Lord Jesus, Thou dost not leave me to myself here below. Thou visitest me, and in the most wondrous way, Thou givest Thyself wholly unto me, that I, poor sinner, might be saved through Thee. Thou dost lavish Thy grace upon me. For food and drink unto eternal life, Thou givest me Thy body and Thy blood. Thou wouldst render me utterly firm in faith, and confident that Thou wilt surely save me. Why should I stand back, or even stand at a distance, when Thou so kindly dost beckon and call? Through Thy Holy Spirit, working through Thy Word, continue to draw me to accept and treasure Thy great mercy. Amen.
Hasten as a bride to meet Him,
And with loving rev’rence greet Him;
For with words of life immortal
Now He knocketh at thy portal.
Haste to ope the gates before Him,
Saying, while thou dost adore Him,
“Suffer, Lord, that I receive Thee,
And I nevermore will leave Thee.”
Hymn 305, 2.