We are created and shaped in the image of God, and we are the crowning glory of matter. Our first father Adam was fashioned out of the earth, and when we die, we return to that earth. For a time, matter is organized in such a way as to love, think, sing praises to God, congregate in families, and everything else that we do.
But this returning to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, is a problem. Death is an enemy. This happens because our race rebelled against God, and the warning was fulfilled. The day you eat of the tree in the midst of the garden you shall surely die.
But God is a gracious God, and right after our fall into death, He promised us that a descendant of the woman would come, and He would crush the head of the serpent. This He has done, and we are delivered. But although we are delivered and saved, we are still suffering some of the consequences of our first rebellion. It is hard to be the glory of matter when you only rise above it for a time, and then you return to it.
God has purposed to raise us to life everlastingly, and we will forever—flesh and bone—dwell with Him. But He has seen fit to prepare us for this over time; He does not do it all at once. So throughout the course of our lives, He gives us emblems for our salvation and sanctification—to receive, to read, to hear, to eat, and to drink. He uses these instruments to prepare us for the glory that is coming.
The point is to respond in faith to the Word of God. Are you baptized? Respond in faith. Do you hear the Word preached? Respond in faith. Is the bread in your hand? Take and eat it, in evangelical faith. Is the wine in your cup? Drink it in faith, all of it.
Why should you do this? The reason is that it is God’s good pleasure that you will live forever. But as we prepare to dwell with Him, we realize that we must be acclimated, and to do that, we must do as we are told—in faith. God is shaping us, and so let submit to Him.
So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.