Bible Readings and Devotion for December 6 and 7, 2020
Here are the references for the readings. Please look these up in your print Bible, your smartphone app Bible, or your online Bible.
Devotion for December 6 and 7, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
Holy Communion is one of the two Sacraments of our Lutheran Christian tradition. The other is Holy Baptism. In our reading from Luke 22 we have Luke’s account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper. There are actually 4 presentation of this event in the New Testament. These are in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and 1 Corinthians.
This account in Luke is unique in that it gives us a slightly larger glimpse into the context in which Jesus gave us this meal. It was presented as part of the Passover Meal of the Jewish people. One of the glimpses we get in Luke is that we see mention of 2 cups of wine. This doesn’t mean that we are to drink 2 cups of wine for the Sacrament. The most universal presentation of the wine in Communion is 1 drink or serving per person. The extra cup simply gives us that Passover context. From what I have read there are actually four cups of wine in a traditional Passover meal.
Here is a link to an article about the four cups of wine used in the Passover. Click link.
One of the benefits of understanding this context of the Jewish Passover is that it informs our decision making regarding faithful planning for celebrating Holy Communion. Some people have mistakenly thought that Jesus just took the common snacks and drinks of his day and gave it a meaning. This has led to people having communion with pretzels and coke or beer and pizza or orange juice and crackers, etc. The Passover wasn’t just a common snack, and we have no reason to treat this holy Sacrament as such a snack either. The bread is part of the Passover just as the wine is part of the Passover. It is good and right that we make the deliberate choice to use the fruit of the vine (grape wine) and bread for this Holy Meal which Jesus taught us to receive often.
Holy Communion is a beautiful and joyful part of how we connect with God and one another, how we are assured of God’s forgiveness of our sin, and how we give thanks as a community. We look to God’s Holy Word and the wisdom of nearly 2000 years of church history to seek faithful understandings of what the Lord teaches us about the proper use of this Sacrament.
Here is a document which presents the four, Bible passages about communion. It also includes the, “Words of Institution,” which is a faithful combining of the Word of God found in these four passages. Click Link Here.
Merciful God, we do not presume to come to your table trusting in our own righteousness, but in your abundant mercy. Grant us, therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat and drink the body and blood of your dear Son, Jesus Christ, that we may live in him and he in us, now and forever. Amen