Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What we believe informs what we do in the Lord's Supper

We've had a very lively discussion in Sunday morning Bible Class the past few weeks about Article VII of the Formula of Concord, the article on the Lord's Supper. The conversation has dwelt for a long time on what effects the presence of Christ's Body and Blood. Is it the words of Jesus (the Verba) or the reception of the elements by the communicant? And, if Jesus' Body and Blood are present at His Words, how long does His presence continue? Indefinitely (until everything is consumed? Or only until the Supper is ended?

There's a lively debate happening at the Gottesdienst blog. It's scholarly but thorough.

If you check it out, read the posts in this order:

For my own part, I believe the Scriptural and Lutheran position is that the Words of Jesus bring about His presence, and that presence endures until everything is consumed. And my practice confesses that. Because Receptionism is nearly as prevalent as it is false, I genuflect during the consecration. And because any talk of the end of Christ's presence in the Supper is speculative at best, and an impious denial that the Word of the Lord endures forever at worst, I consume everything that has been consecrated.

If you're not getting enough of this conversation in Bible Class on Sunday mornings (or if you're note getting any of it), go read what these other faithful Lutheran pastors have to say on the issue and come back and discuss it here.

1 comment:

JS said...

I'd love to sit in your bible class. This is an excellent example of cleaving to the Word of God instead of what you said "pious speculation" at best.

The practice of consuming everything obliterates all sorts of problems. If you store the body and blood, you have a tabernacle, even if its a ziplock bag in the sacristy. If you pour the blood of our Lord back in the Manichevitz bottle, well lets not go there. But if the body and blood is consumed, then one can circumvent all the problems that arise with my two examples.

I'd love to see your outline for class. This fall I want to work my altar guild in this same direction.