Brothers and Sisters,
Today is Maundy Thursday—the fifth day of Holy Week. Today, God’s people traditionally remember Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-20) and sharing the Last Supper (Matt 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-23).
That last meal, of course, is where Jesus gave His Church the Lord’s Supper as a perpetual sacrament wherein “his death is showed forth; and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace” (WSC 96). What a glorious way to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 34:8)!
This gift of grace was given as a means of spiritual nourishment and unity (1 Cor 10:16-17). Unfortunately, the “original sin” of Protestantism is disunity around the table. Beginning soon after Martin Luther posted his 95 theses (1517), Reformers parted company over their various interpretations of the Supper, giving rise to the major confessional divisions we see today between the Reformed, Lutherans, and Anabaptists. The tragedy of Protestantism is that we have not yet found a way to cross those lines and share the Lord’s table in a visible way.
Yet, what keeps that tragedy from plunging us into despair is the fact that it is the Lord’s table—not Zwingli’s, Luther’s, or Calvin’s. Regardless of how we describe what happens in this rite, the fact of the matter is when we take the bread and wine, we partake of the one Christ. And we will continue to do so until He appears in glory and we all (Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, and even many Catholics) sit down at the table with Him (Rev 19:6-10).
I pray we’ll reflect on our transcendent, eschatological unity in Christ as we join every Christian around the world in the deeply catholic act of remembering this last week of Jesus’ life leading up to Resurrection Sunday. May the Lord’s Supper taste all the more sweet this weekend as we and saints from every corner of the world commune with our risen Lord.
In Christ alone,