Monday, November 15, 2004

Holy Communion or Ice Hockey?

Yesterday, ice hockey won out over holy communion. Yes, ice hockey won out because, unlike my church, my son will get kicked off his team for not showing up to games unless we come up with a really good a funeral in Canada - and we already used that one last Thursday. Actually, my church offers a Monday night service for those of us who came up with really great excuses for missing church on Sunday. OK, I'm not one of those people with a really great excuse, but our pastors really make it clear to us that worshipping on Monday night, on occasion, or any other day or night, is a choice. It is not commanded to worship at 10:45am on Sunday mornings. Still, I show up 99% of the time at that very hour.

The only problem I have with evening church is that I FALL ASLEEP! I don't want to, but during the sermon I really fight sleepiness. I don't think God did mean for us to worship at night or he would have given us a different internal body clock. At 7pm, my body is starting to wind down and if I sit down for very long, even in church, I get very sleepy. Still, I'm very thankful that my church offers me the opportunity to strenghten my faith through corporate confession, absolution and holy communion. Praise God for this opportunity tonight. I'll just have to order a double espresso at Caribou beforehand.

What Confessional Lutherans believe about Holy Communion (or why I jump at the chance to take holy communion):
According to Christ's Word and institution, His body and blood are truly present, distributed and received in the Lord's Supper, under the forms of bread and wine. This Supper is intended for Christians who know and adhere to theteachings of God's Word, who are able to examine themselves on the basis of that Word,and who repent of their sins and look to Christ alone for forgiveness. The body and blood of Christ are offered and received in this Sacrament for the remission of sins and for the strengthening of faith. The forgiveness of sins which is offered by God through the Means of Grace can be rejected by an unbelieving heart, but it is received for salvation by all who believe in Christ.

Lutherans believe and teach that in the other Sacrament, Holy Communion, the Lord Jesus Christ, according to How own plain Word, gives us His body and blood for the remission of sins; that the Lutheran belief, call the 'Real Presence', does not imply, either by transubstantiation or consubstantiation, any king of change in the visible elements, that the bread remains bread and the wine remains wine, but by virtue of Jesus word of institution, this bread is the Body and this wine is His blood; that all who eat and drink at the Lord's Table receive His body and blood in and with the bread and wine, those who believe to the strengthening of their faith, those who reject to their condemnation; and that this Sacrament ought therefore to be withheld from those who are unable to examine themselves in the Christian faith.

References: Matthew 26: 26-28; Mark 14: 24; 1Corinthians 11: 24-25; 1Corinthians 11: 26-28; Matthew 7: 6; 1 Corinthians 11: 29.

Borrowed from the ELCE and ELS websites, and Confessing Evangelical.

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