(Jesus said) "This is My body, which is for you.... This cup is the new covenant in My blood...." (1 Corinthians 11:24b-25a)
Read 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
"I need a hug," my son says to me when he's having a bad day. "Can you hold my hand?" a child asks her mother, standing in line for an amusement park ride. "Stay with me, don't leave me," beg children everywhere as their parents plunk them down in chairs at the dentist.
We take comfort in the physical, don't we? If I am alone and afraid, I want nothing more than someone I love to touch me, to hold me. That gives me comfort and courage. Millions of children waking up in the night would agree.
Jesus knows this about us. And for that reason (as well as so many more! See Luther's Small Catechism for details), Jesus gave us a very special gift the night He was betrayed. He took humble, ordinary bread and wine, and He gave it to His disciples, saying, "Take, eat... All of you, drink of it... This is my body... this is my blood." And in, with, and through the bread and wine, He gives us Himself -- His own forgiving body and blood.
This is comfort. This is mercy, that Jesus should leave us something of Himself we can touch and taste and eat, a gift that comes to form the foundation of our own bodies and blood. He knows how we are made -- He knows that at some point, we will all wish we had been there in the days when He walked the earth visibly, for anybody to see and hear and touch. And so He gives us this gift of forgiveness and life in visible, touchable form -- a gift of love for all His people. Thanks be to God.
THE PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for the care You give to our physical bodies. Most of all, thank You for the gift of Your Son's body and blood. Amen.
When do you most need someone to touch you?
Baptism, too, has a physical, touchable element. Why, do you think?
How does the physical nature of the Lord's Supper strengthen you personally?
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