Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Might Infrequency Lead to Lethargy?


In contrast to the mysticism that is the staple in broad evangelicalism, Reformed theology, piety, and practice recognize that growth in sanctification is wrought primarily through participation in the means of grace, i.e., the hearing of the Word of God (Gospel) preached and the partaking of the Sacraments, wherein the Holy Spirit unites the recipient of the water in baptism and the bread and wine in the Supper to the thing signified, the substance, which is Christ, hastening the growth of faith even as small as a mustard seed.

In the weekly Sabbath assembly, the proclamation of the promises of the Covenant of Grace is declared through the ordained mouthpiece of Christ, the pastor, and is ratified in the physical representation of the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper. But what if the Supper is not administered weekly? Could this lack somehow account for some, if not many, of the instances of spiritual torpor among the sheep of Christ's flock? If it be in the capacity of the church to celebrate the Supper weekly, should it not do so for the love of those for whom Christ lived and died, that they may be conformed ever increasingly to His image and likeness?

"Calvin and other reformers argued that the Supper should occupy a central place alongside preaching each week. Yet its strange absence from the regular gathering of many churches today impoverishes the saints, weakens the diet and the sinews that connect us to our living Head and to each other as members of his body, and dampens the gratitude that feeds our missionary zeal. It is the Eucharist, along with preaching and baptism, that not only generates a church in the first place, but keeps its focus on Christ's presence in action as well as his absence in the flesh, generating our longing for his return." (Michael Horton, The Gospel-Driven Life [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2009], 203).



4 comments:

  1. But but but if we devote time to sacrament and the Lord's supper then there will be little time for the motorcycle show during service. Great quote there. I love your blog.

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  2. One other thing that would be necessary would be that the celebration be accompanied by clear exposition of the word and by biblical Church discipline. Without this the weekly celebration of the Lord's Supper could quickly deteriorate into the Catholic superstition of the Mass.

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  3. I think that all sorts of problems flow from our eucharistic unfaithfulness. Thanks for the post! I'll "share" it on FB.
    -Tim

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