An Offering of Thanksgiving to God

We come now to the table of our Lord to receive His body and His blood by faith. It is a high and holy privilege for all those who are baptized and in union with His church to sit and feast with the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ, and to commune with Him in peace.

We often speak of the Lord’s Supper as a means of grace, and rightly so, for in the Lord’s Supper God comes and graciously builds us up in our faith and builds us up as His body. But let’s never forget that the primary movement that goes on in the Eucharist is toward God. We present this bread and wine to our Lord as an offering of thanksgiving to Him for what Christ Jesus has done for us.

This was brought to my mind as I read a prayer written by Hippolytus, a bishop in Rome at the beginning of the third century. In the prayer Hippolytus says this: “Having in memory, therefore, His death and resurrection, we offer to Thee the bread and the cup, yielding Thee thanks, because Thou hast counted us worthy to stand before Thee and to minister to Thee.”

That is what I would direct you to consider now as we celebrate the body and blood of our Lord. Holding in remembrance Christ’s death and resurrection, we offer up to God the bread and the cup, and in the grace of that Godward movement, of that giving of praise to God, we receive blessing. Let’s never forget that in this Divine Service of worship we present offerings to God by the Spirit, and the Father graciously receives our worship and through that free offering serves us in the grace of Christ.

I hope your heart is filled with awe and wonder and gratitude and love as you meditate on what you are counted worthy to do now through this Communion meal. Let your heart be overflowing with praise as you take up the bread and the cup of our Lord who was crucified and who rose again for you, this bread of offering and this cup of offering.

Come, let us taste and see that the Lord is good.

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