It’s John Calvin’s 500th birthday this year, so I’m working through his theological treatises. Love coming across stuff like this:
It would be well to require that the Communion of the Holy Supper of Jesus Christ be held every Sunday at least as a rule. When the Church assembles together for the great consolation which the faithful receive and the profit which proceeds from it, in every respect according to the promises which are there presented to our faith, then we are really made participants of the body and blood of Jesus, of his death, of his life, of his Spirit and all his benefits. Continue reading
It is in the midst of his teaching about idolatry in 1 Corinthians 10 that the apostle Paul teaches on the Lord’s Supper.
And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 1 Cor. 10:7-10
We are supposed to flee idols. What pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and you cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. We’re not so fond of talking about or believing in demons in our enlightenment culture, but we bear all the symptoms Paul describes—drunkenness, sexual immorality, crippling depression and complaining, addictions and self-destructive actions of every kind. As Christians you must leave these things, the table of demons, and you don’t leave it and therefore have no table. You leave the table of sin and come to a new table, one that will actually nourish you, the communion of the body and blood of Christ. This is a meal of nourishment where all believers in Jesus are required to partake in order to be strengthened to stand against idolatry, and it is also one of proclamation: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Cor. 11:26). Here we declare, with the Palm Sunday crowds, that Jesus is King and the idols are nothing. So come and eat, and come and drink.