Wooden cross in the Good Shepherd Chapel



It is the Lord’s Supper

Lent 2018

What do we mean when we say, "Christ joins us again in the Lord's Supper to re-enact what he did the first time in the upper room?" We mean, "get ready for a personal appearance by our God himself.''

Christ ushers us into the Feast. His presence is expected in his Word. We do not proclaim his true absence; but we do proclaim his true presence. (Luke 22:19-20) We take Christ at his word when he says, "This is my body… This is my blood." (Mark 14:22-24) Why would anyone say that it is only his "spiritual presence" and not his physical presence that we receive? He is not like a ghost who deprives us of everything real. Instead it is an invitation to bathe in God's presence. He invites us to his table to eat his body and drink his blood; for in the Lord's Supper there is a transparent reflection of his presence with us today. When the timeless Creator of time and eternity honors us with his presence among us in time, it becomes a special event where Christ touches us with his reality and makes the unknowable known. The scriptures clearly bear witness to his presence in the Lord's Supper. (Matthew 26:26-28)

Nearly all in the holy catholic church believe in Christ's presence, whether they are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran or others. (That would include about 1.5 billion of the 2.2 billion Christians living in the world today or about 2/3 of all Christians.) Christ's presence is a reality for so many as the Christian church universal celebrates his Last Supper.

It is the Lord's Supper—not ours but His. It is his meal, his table, his invitation, his presence, and his forgiveness that we celebrate. It was a unique invitation when Jesus Christ did it the first time with his disciples. What happened then is exactly what we celebrate today when we come to the Lord's Table to experience the transparent reality of his presence and receive his forgiveness. Are you ready to meet Christ in this biblical way?

Charles L. Manske
The late Dr. Manske was the founding president of Christ College Irvine

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