Word of the Month

Comfort in Holy Communion

October 2013

After our sins are forgiven we hear the powerful statement: “The peace of the Risen One abide with you!” Could there be any more beautiful words of comfort? What great comfort is contained in this promise of peace! This comfort has its source in the knowledge that the Risen One has gained the victory over sin, hell, and death, and that He has broken the power of sin and death! I too share in this victory! The day will come when He who has risen from the dead will also lead me to my own resurrection! “The peace of the Risen One abide with you!” also means: “Don’t worry unnecessarily! I have overcome the world. The power of My resurrection is still in effect today!”

When we celebrate Holy Communion, we proclaim the death of the Lord till He comes! This too is a wonderful comfort which we receive from the Risen One: every time we celebrate Holy Communion we focus on the returning Lord. Every celebration of the Lord’s Supper tells us: “The Lord is coming soon!” After all, the fulfilment of this promise is announced in our fellowship at the Lord’s table. Perhaps one might think: “That’s rather cheap comfort.” But for us this is the greatest comfort, because already today we experience fellowship with the Lord in the celebration of Holy Communion. At that very moment He is present in the congregation as the crucified, resurrected, and returning Lord and we have the most intimate fellowship with Him in His body and blood. He gives us the promise: “It is not only my intention to take you unto Myself when I come—I am already here right now. I am giving you My body and blood for eternal life!” These are not merely sentimental words, but the deep meaning of Holy Communion. Each and every time we celebrate Holy Communion, may we experience and feel: “The Lord is right there, standing beside me!”

I think of the many members who are in situations of suffering and affliction, who feel that no one seems to take notice of them. I am aware that there are members who need comfort in many congregations, and that no one sees their pain. Perhaps the thought at times also comes to them: “I don’t count. No one sees me. I am not important.” Every time we celebrate Holy Communion, the Lord tells these souls: “Don’t forget that I have also given My life for you! I have seen you. I have not forgotten you. And I love you. I am also there for you!”

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)