A Memorial Before the Lord

There are two fundamental errors to avoid in coming to the Table of the Lord. We readily recognize the first, and so there is a temptation to think that this is the only possible error—so we will consider it in the second place.

The error that characterizes modernity is the sin of arid rationalism. In the grip of this error, the memorial of the Supper becomes little more than a string tied around our finger, designed to make us remember certain propositions. This remembrance, it is thought, could readily be accomplished by other means.

But of course, while we do remember the Lord’s death by this means, this does not exhaust what Jesus meant when He spoke of this remembrance, or this memorial. Remember Your Old Testaments. Memorials were offered before the Lord as memorials to the Lord. We are not just remembering, we are reminding. But why should we remind a God who never forgets anything? This is the question posed by arid rationalism. Note where it leads—why should we pray, preach the gospel, or feed the hungry? You are Christians; do nothing in the grip of an idea. You are Christians—do as you are told. Remind the Lord of His covenant to save you.

The other error is the swamp of superstition. In the grip of this, the Table of the Lord is reduced to a simple magic trick, outside of you, there on the Table. But of course, it is not that.

There is a miracle here, a wonder, a mystery. But the mystery involves all of our faith, our life, our identity. How can you all be one with Christ? How can you be the body of Christ? How can Christ be completely identified with you? We cannot do the calculus, but still know this is true. If this is not the case, then we are all still dead in our trespasses and sins.

But this is not our condition. Rather, we live. And those who live, eat, and drink. So come, in faith, to the Table of the Lord.

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