April 6, 2020

Published April 6, 2020 by St Matthews Lutheran Church in Daily Message

If we think of Lent as a time of fasting and preparation for the salvation that God in Christ is accomplishing for the whole world, then we enter into the great Three Days ready to behold such holy, mysterious work. The people of the exodus awaited their promised deliverance from slavery by eating a meal, already dressed for travel, as though they were certain that their salvation would come that night. We too gather to listen, eat, and pray with trust that our deliverance from sin, death, and all that separates us from God is also near. Like our ancestors, we call on the name of the Lord, we lift up the cup of salvation, and we eat of Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In his life giving and his death enduring, we witness the faithful service and love that save us and shape us into the body of people who reflect Christ’s life into the world.

                                                                        Sundays and Seasons, 2020

This essay from Sundays and Seasons reminds us of the importance of the gathered community around word and sacrament. There is a poignant sadness to that reminder this year because we can’t gather together in the same space and we can’t share the meal that Christ gave to his church as a Means of Grace.

In the several online groups that I follow for rostered leaders, there has been much debate about the legitimacy and efficacy of “drive-by communion.” Luther was clear about his “take” on receiving the sacrament of the altar – it should be offered every time the community gathered. All that said, the discussions I have read land me solidly on the side of not doing communion until we can gather again. This adds to our sense of lament, of course but reminds us that there will joy on that morning when we are together again.