The sun is 93 million miles away, and yet every day we enjoy its warmth and light here. The Lord Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father, yet He is present here with us, now.
His warmth and presence comes to us in the person of the Holy Spirit, and so if anyone asks if we believe in the real presence of the Lord in the Supper, the answer is of course. We don’t believe in His real absence. God is present here in and through the work of the Holy Spirit. We do not look for a physical presence in the elements of bread and wine, but rather a covenantal presence of Christ, manifested in His energy and power.
Christ is present in the participles—He is present in our praying, singing, breaking, eating and drinking. The catalyst for all this is our faith, and even that faith is a gift from God so that no one can boast.
So the bread and wine are evangelical types. They represent God’s offer of Christ to us, and in faith, as we receive them (in the participles) we are gratefully accepting what is offered.
The Reformers lived in a time when the works of the early church father Tertullian were recovered, and it is from Tertullian that they learned that the word sacramentum referred to an oath that a soldier took upon his enlistment. As such, it is a most fitting word for this covenantal meal—we are taking a covenantal oath, and we are doing so as the ultimate pledge of allegiance.
We live in a world that is constantly trying to lure us away from this allegiance, but we want nothing to do with that. So we come here every week to renew our vows, and we are privileged to do so in the presence of Jesus Christ Himself.
So come, and welcome, to Jesus Christ.