Sermons and Papers


The “And” in Word and Sacrament


for the Communicants


by Rev. Frederick A. Hertwig
RR 2, Box 343
Lincoln, MO 65338-9581

                                           Let Us Pray for our communicants:

Lord Jesus, who callest unto Thee all that labor and are heavy laden, to refresh them and to give rest unto their souls, we pray Thee, let these guests experience Thy love at the heavenly feast which Thou hast prepared for Thy children on earth. Keep them from impenitence and unbelief, that no one may partake of this holy Sacrament to his damnation. Take off from them the spotted garment of the flesh and of their own righteousness, and adorn them with the garment of the righteousness purchased with Thy blood. Strengthen their faith, increase their love and hope, and after this life grant them a place at Thy heavenly table, where they shall eat of the eternal manna and drink of the river of Thy pleasure forevermore. Hear us for Thine own sake.

Let the Vineyards be Fruitful

 

INTRODUCTION – WORD AND SACRAMENT

 

This essay was presented to the Sedalia Circuit Pastoral conference of the Missouri District at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Stover, Missouri on April 14, 1998.

The Son of God gave us two sacraments. Did you notice how in recent weeks these two sacraments have been in the news? One by omission and the other by commission. The septuplets, born in Iowa, had no baptism, even when the seventh child came home. President Clinton touring Africa received “communion” in a Roman Catholic mass.

The And

in “Word and Sacrament”

When we say, “Word and Sacrament” we say that they belong together. The “Word” can stand alone, and the Sacrament has exclusive sacramenting words within itself. It is not Word-Sacrament, hyphenated, as though they are identical or far apart, but: Word and Sacrament. Distinct, yes, but not one without the other. It is the AND that concerns me in this paper: in particular the “Word” in the sermon before the Sacrament.

               The AND between proclamation and distribution.

               The AND between sermon text and communicant.

               The AND between the shepherd’s mouth in the pulpit and his hand

               that proffers the elements.

               The AND between the Pastor’s greeting and his sermon salutation.

               The AND of God’s minister and the communicant at the chancel step.

               The AND between the exposition of the text and thoughts to accompany

               the communicant walking to the alter.

               The AND between confession, absolution, distribution and reception.

There are worship services that have little or no articulation of this kind. Is this good? Can the Sacrament stand on its own feet? Of course it can. But I submit that it will stand deeper, stronger, more meaningful, broader, as we put three words together, “Word and Sacrament”. Practice it! There is “hunger and thirst” expected of the guests and so it is for me, the cook, to tax my talents for more taste, variety, and exploration. The dimensions of the Lord’s Supper are serious and tender. They cannot be left to assumptions or hopeful self-help. It is a challenge to the bottom of your theological, biblical soul and heart, to get an AND from any text, especially when you are going to have the Sacrament in a few minutes. What is so logical, if only a sentence or two, to informally say something about it? It is not as though you are shutting the door on the pulpit and going through another door at the altar. There is no door, in a sense. It’s just a step or two and there we are: almost an instantaneous AND.

Indeed, we are going to communion more than we used to. To cleave the question rather savagely: are we doing it better? I mean, there is more casualness, more off-the-cuff, dare I say, mindlessness, routiness, breeziness. The AND from the pulpit helps lock the communicant to pay attention, to be accompanied with thoughts he did not think of, to refresh him, to sharpen a distinctive point or more in coming to the altar.

When we say, “Word and Sacrament”, we have no dissembling about the order: Word is followed by Sacrament. It is never phrased, “Sacrament and Word.” By word, however, we may include the words of Institution. In the Sunday service, there is the Word in various forms: liturgy, Scripture and hymns. All have their AND with the handling of the elements and their reception.

In this paper I am attempting to intensify pulpit preparation for the Sacrament. That the words flow out in an agreeable, thoughtful, comprehensiveness, with an amalgamating AND, in the pastoral mode, in expounding some facet of the text that melds into sacramental participation. Avoid a crank-out (if you pardon the expression) liturgical like formula. It is a similar challenge that the wording of Law and Gospel get every turn of phrase and thought as a surprise, of sorts. Some texts come easy in getting the AND between sermon and sacrament. There are times to think harder, meditate more and to pray, “I must get this in!” If only a sentence or two. “God help me. Show me!”

For example, taken an easy one. My text is Rev. 7, 1-8. Theme: The Sealed People, the 144,000. The seal on the forehead is symbolic: but the seat of Christ into my very mouth and person is real, here and now! It is with chosen elements, physical and palatable. It is not a vision. It is a real presence for which you need no mirror to see the mark. It is in your mouth, even if you are blind, and then even more so. Yes, close your eyes. Some communicants do.

Again, my text is Luke 10, 18 in which Jesus says, “He was watching the seventy-two. So too, he was watching at the first communion right across the table. He still is, right here looking at you in a sacramental way.

It is a moment to rhapsodize the event for all who believe and to fend off thoughts of doubt or momentary unbelief. It will heighten the concentration of Shepherd and sheep. A strong AND reduces sacramental casualness, and ceremonial emptiness. The Pastor-preacher cannot recline in counting confession and absolution, the Scripture readings without a straightforward AND. Let each one have his own way in giving heat, light, interest, to make it a grand AND. If the Pentecostals can find reason to shiver and shake unsacramentally, it is for us to give solemn, cheerful trophies that combine Pentecost and the weight of the upper room.

The first alert from the pulpit for getting in the AND occurs in the salutation. Together with a salutation, unique to the sermon, I say, “AND communicants!” I am harking back to the days of the Beichtgottesdiesnt, a half hour or 15 minute confessional service before the regular service for communicants only, including an address (no children’s sermon. I can’t imagine fifth grade “communicants” in such a service).

As the Augsburg Confession assumes in Article XI, “Of Confession they teach that private absolution ought to be retained in the churches….” p.47 Triglotta. Also, p.69 “Confession in the churches is not to be abolished among us, for it is not usual to give the body of the Lord, except to them that have been previously examined and absolved.” Article XXV in the context, it means “privately.”

Time was when homiletical helps were offered in the Homiletisches Magazin and other publications of the Synod for such a service. From particular confession and absolution, specifically directed to the communicants, this element was absorbed into the service as a general confession and absolution, and so lost its depth and strength. There is very little help today, neither in the seminaries or the general catalog of books and treatises. For example, Concordia Journal sermon studies seldom, if ever, coordinate the AND of Word and Sacrament. The full freight of the Beichtgottesdienst has been lost.

The Homiletisches Real Lexicon with index rerum and index locorum, edited by Pastor E. Eckhardt of Blair, Nebraska, (1908 and Battle Creek, Nebraska, 1914, Success Printing Company, St. Louis, Missouri) has 53 pages under Abendmahl (communion). This is an index to all of Synod’s publications, such as the Lutheraner, Lehre und Where, Synodal Berichte, essays at Synodical conventions side by side, in a double column, summary statements give key words to the publications in the side column. (Sample attached) In Volume 4, under beichtreden (confessional addresses) there are sixteen pages of texts and sermons for communion. Regarding ‘Beichtanmeldung’ are five pages, summarizing and referencing communion registration. See the book by Paul W. Nesper, “Biblical Texts”, Wartburg Press, Columbus, Ohio, 1952, Pages 33-49 under the title, “Confession and Holy Communion” with an introductory paragraph supporting the preparatory service. The last confessional address in the Concordia Pulpit was in the 1940 index Volume 6-10 ten communion addresses.

When I greet the congregation with the “and communicants”, it is a reminder of what is coming. The listener has the opportunity to be thoughtful, that the AND of Word and Sacrament will not come as a surprise, ten minutes before I say, “The Lord by with you.” All hear that the Pastor has the sacrament in mind, that somewhere in his sermon he is going to say something about it. If the worshiper hears no “And”, he will have to supply it himself. “But why should I? Didn’t he just say, AND communicants?” There is potential for a communicant to do some personal, hurry-up preparation, as the moment for sacramental reception comes to his very person. It is time to get serious, and sacramental. When the pastor says, “AND communicants” it is not an impersonal formal salute, but an arrow, as it were, to stimulate the soul into more reverent attention. It is a feature of the WORD AND SACRAMENT formula that strikes the colors for an arresting, sincere worship attitude.

Again, I engage the congregation with these words, “In Christ, fellow Christians AND communicants”. It is obvious that not all will go to communion, or that they are being ordered to do so. For one thing, there are the children, who know they are not communicants, not yet. There might be members who are not planning or thinking of communion for themselves. One or the other might not be feeling well, not steady enough, etc. Communion is voluntary, not compulsory, corralled mass action. It is not a mindless trampling as God Himself once said of Israel in their church attendance. As a Shepherd-preacher in a communion service I do not sweep through the liturgy in a palms-down, perfunctory, mechanical manner including even the very word of institution. But as a true shepherd, with palms up, I lead myself and them to corners they very well know, but shown in such a way they have not heard before. This is not a suggestion to invent new doctrines, or to devise clever patterns. However, in comparison, a little ‘embroidering’ is better than none at all. The abyss that encompasses the dimensions of Word and Sacrament is like Bennett Springs welling out of the ground. It is for us to take the time to sit down with our members beside this silent wonder.

An example of sermon-communion preaching and catechesis:

Ask the question about Cain and Abel: Do you think these brothers could go to communion? I ask this question in confirmation class as follows: A brother and a sister are on their way to church. They get into a furious argument. Sitting in the parking lot, they are stone-silent in anger. The brother gets out and slams the door. The sister gets out the other side and does the same. Both rage in silence over the hood of the car. Both go into church through different doors. Waiting for the bells to ring, the pastor is looking out the sacristy door. The brother goes into the farthest corner of the balcony. The sister sits in the middle of the congregation. My question is: Do you think this brother and sister may go to communion? Will the Pastor ask God to help him say something in his sermon regarding reconciliation and forgiveness? Will he recall the text about “First be reconciled to thy brother and then come and offer thy gift.” (Mt. 5, 24)?

In the Christian Questions Luther speaks of “hunger and thirst” for the sacrament. Where is his scripture for this? Why, he just made that up! (although Ps. 22,26 says “The poor will eat and be satisfied.” and Ps. 23,5 “You prepare a table before me.” Within certain limits, it is good hyperbole, as far as it goes, but it does not go all over. I have pondered that since confirmation. The amount of eating and drinking is really minuscule. As it was the very first time, the Passover was dinner. Jesus ate it to endure the cross and all the physical exertion that went with it. It was His last full meal, the meal of the condemned, “henkersmahlzeit”. Christ was there, reclining in body and soul, and at the same time he said they were to receive his body and blood. There is the base AND of the wall where we stop and look straight up as it looms over us into an infinite sky, beyond our understanding. But it is still a good preparation thought to stimulate an appetite, as it were.

I urge you brethren, to put effort in polishing the facets of the sacramental diamond. That standing in the pulpit you are not reluctant to let the congregation see you struggle under the strain of putting text, ‘Word and Sacrament’ together. One method is to share your “weakness” by asking the question, “What do you think this text has to do with your coming to the Lord’s Supper?” Allow for a pause of silence as they think about it. Or, “what is it in life that bothers you this moment?” With such plowing of the ground of the soul, you are able to get back some of the wholesome elements of private confession and the personal touching on the forehead of the individual communicant----that the communicant is so intent, in an atmosphere so rare, that the heavenly effect of it will educate his bearing, the look in his face, the angle of his head----will bore through to his spouse and children in the presence of the singing congregation. The sight of parents as seen by children, bowing and receiving---who can measure it? The aura of mystery, brightened, while somber seriousness and happiness, all blend into one experience. The individual believe must feed himself too, but he does not give himself communion. His piety is a private, personal matter that no other can penetrate, except the Holy Spirit. But there is the office of the ministry, “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” that God Himself has ordered. “To feed the church of God which He has purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20, 28. That the points of contact, from text-tone vibrate to text tune, each in his own key. “So let a person think of us as servants of Christ and managers of God’s mystery.” 1 Cor. 4, 1.

The AND between pulpit and altar, sermon Word and Sacrament is related in substance, and as wide as the ocean in its exposition. If you like call it the charismatic dimension that strains the wires of your spiritual heart. You will not have the same voltage between sermon-word and sacrament every time, but by the Holy Spirit, there is going to be some voltage every time. A repetitive, wooden formula is not called for, although, even that would be better than nothing. As we are going to communion more, we will do more, expect more, and we will be blessed the more.

Words about the Lord’s Supper from the pulpit shorten the distance between pulpit and the altar. The And between them can get so small, that the transition from one to the other is a unit, almost. That the enthusiasm, the gravity, the wonder, the solemnity of the moment, the closeness, the encounter with the hand of Christ, the voluntary walking to the altar rail to meet your Savior, the touching of the physical elements, the wisdom of the one who made water into wine, the omniscience of the one who knew Nathaniel, the omnipotence of the one who rose as the first grain of wheat out of the ground, the deep feeling with which Jesus takes the Sacrament to eternity, “For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it find fulfillment in the kingdom of God…” Mark 14, 25. (which is a clear indication, that the Lord’s Supper was not for Judas. He ate the Passover for his last meal, but not the Lord’s Supper.)

The simplicity, yet the profound ways of Christ, that one has to say, Romans 11,33f. “How deep are God’s riches, wisdom and knowledge: how impossible it is to figure out His decisions and to trace His ways, Who has found out how the Lord thinks? Or who has become His adviser?” Isaiah 40, 13. “Who has understood the mind of the Lord?” Is it not fitting for the Shepherd to take occasion to speak such words, to be stricken visibly before his flock, to be transformed for a moment now and then, who quivers in unfeigned rhetoric, who strains to explain something that is over his head? To wrestle till he is out of joint, to be exhausted visibly with Daniel, to hear a crick in his knees, even to his dislocated Jacobean hip? Cor.1, 5, “For in Him you have been made rich in every way, in speech and knowledge of every kind.”

In pacing the preparatory details, the grand master of the “AND” between communion and the Word is Jesus Himself. For three years he was their pastor, master, teacher, friend, preparing for the first communion. Some of those lessons were ghastly. “Get thee behind me, Satan.” Mt.16, 23. Again, putting a child beside himself to settle their foolish argument, “Who is the greatest?” How far they were from Communion! They were not ready.

It was a long AND before they got to the shore of the sacramental river.

Take the events of Thursday by paging through the HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS of Adam Fahling, beginning on page 180 to 192. You see the generous amount of scripture for that heavy day. The synoptic Gospels are almost identical to start the day, “Then came the day,” spiraling to the high priestly prayers, “Father, the hour is come.” Jn. 17, 1. “Go into the city.” Mt. 26, 18. Into the commerce of the city, which 22 years before as a 12 year old boy he stayed extra long in celebrating the Passover.

Jesus, as administrator, Creator, originator, and sustained was meticulous in regard to an unworthy communicant. Recount words such as these, “While they were eating, He said, I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.” Mark 14, 18-19. “Feeling deeply hurt, they asked him one by one, you don’t mean me, do you Lord?” Note the progression with which Jesus is preparing the meal, and singling out the unworthy one. “Jesus answered, He who dips his hand into the bowl with me is the one who will betray me. The Son of Man is going away as the Scriptures say He will, but woe to the man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had never been born.” v.21. What sharper words could be spoken, short of judgment day, that the man get out of the room.

More horrendously you hear that man say, “You don’t mean me, do you Rabbi?” asked Judas, the one who was betraying Him. “Yes, I do He told him.” Mt. 26, 25. The communion service ended with the singing of a hymn, but Judas was not there for the song of farewell, the great Hallel. Do you have anxiety, to “suffer” for the Sacrament? Tremble no more. Remember Christ in His sacramental behavior. You might say, the Lord’s supper is fraught with difficulty at the hands of a disciple.

The overwhelming detail of Jesus putting His disciples through the paces, is a perfect balance of Word and Sacrament, Law and Gospel. As with great desire He yearns to eat this supper with them, so with great agony He must spew one of them out of His mouth.

The presumption of blanket access to the Sacrament can be a headache for the pastor at the altar rail. The authority, the responsibility for expounding, introducing each time he steps into the pulpit is prefaced by a thunderous, heart-trembling preparation for his administering and the sheep’s reception of Christ’s body and blood. Circumspection, like that of Christ in an up and down mode, for those that should come and those who should not is obvious. Ultimately, as clearly as Judas leaves, and as devastated as those disciples who stay, and as precariously as Peter is a mixture of crass self-assuredness, the thin line of blasphemy and unbelief is not far away. The general thought process of thesis and antithesis is one method that keeps the soul and faith in more order, better grasping the flow from Word to Sacrament. Nonetheless we say with Paul, “And I shall be very glad to spend what I have, and also myself, on behalf of your souls.” 2 Cor. 12, 15.

The most appropriate place to celebrate the Lord’s Supper is in the local congregation. When this takes place in some public auditorium, downtown area, or cozy retreat, it is then even more important that the pulpit expound in a responsible way. At the very basic planning, there must be a statement in the printed order of service, a bold paragraph about the connection between Word AND Sacrament. Whoever is preaching bears a great responsibility. In a place so public it would lend control and drama to have the exit doors closed by order from the lectern, and a moment for non-communicants to take the opportunity to leave. The whole environment has the potential to transform the sacrament into a program embellishment. It might be said, that in proportion as the distance that separates, or leaves the local church building to other places, it is in just that proportion that the AND in Word and Sacrament looms ever larger, and absolutely mandatory. For so great an assembly! to see such a multitude before you, and turn to the altar without and AND preceding is to stagger anyone with fear and trembling…To humbly seek the purifying Isaianic fire on his mouth and tongue.

Not to be forgotten by the Word, we mean Gospel and Law, to wit, the strictures of the Lord’s Supper as directed by scripture in 1 Cor.11, 29, “Whoever eats unworthily eats judgment upon himself not discerning the Lord’s body.” Practicing the AND in Word and Sacrament will help the shepherd exercise closed communion. The protection of both the integrity of the Sacrament and the fitness of the communicant, finds a comfortable place in the pulpit. This ceaseless instruction, vigilance, gives strength and variety. The Lord’s Supper is not ceremony or vision. It can be a dreadful consuming thing. Yes, it can compound your guilt, make you lose your health, including mental or spiritual depression. In fact, the prayer of admonition of the old agenda, warning of hypocrites, unbelievers or those living in sin is not in the present liturgy. I have called attention to this to the Commission on Worship.

Guarding the Sacrament is a greater burden than it has ever been before. It is almost unheard of for any church to post a disclaimer or a flat out denial. The cumulative effect, connecting text and altar, will give your congregation a better comprehension, a forceful conviction, to feel no intimidation to those who score for us our closed communion policy. Some of this cannot be done by liturgy alone. It is lost too easily. It must be verbalized in little pieces from a different angle every time. It is that big a concept, as Christ reserved it for the end.

Paying attention to the Lord’s Supper in the pulpit will equip our members to be better ready to receive it, and ourselves to give it. The ex opere operator posture will diminish and meaning will be amplified. Superstitions will be held off and quaint notions squelched.

Make it a personal prayer, even in the pulpit, to pray for the communicants as Paul says, Ph. 1, 9 “I pray that your love will overflow more and more in knowledge and in every kind of understanding.” or Col. 3, 10 (Series #3 second Sunday in Advent) “to be continually renewed in knowledge.” Give communicants knowledge, sweat over it, work on it, pray for it, push yourself to it. 1 Tim. 6, 20 “O Timothy! guard what has been entrusted to you.” Again, 11 Tim. 1, 14, “With the help of the Holy Spirit living in us, guard the good thing entrusted to you.” Measured words, precise phrases, tailored, as Peter says, “Using every bit of your energy.” 11 Peter 1, 5.

Saying such things, beside edifying yourself and your flock, will in itself exercise protection for doubtful, unworthy communing. Church discipline is built in. So that the common man can say “If that is what belongs to the Lord’s Supper I may not want it. In all honesty, I will not ask for it, and I will not challenge you to keep it from me.” As a man said to me after a service, “I never thought about it that way.”

Before Jesus got to communion, he patiently went through the thicket of:

1.)     Stumble upon stumble

2.)     His mouth to their ears

3.)     His face to their face

4.)     Agony upon bliss

5.)     Anxiety upon fulfillment

6.)     Duty upon dereliction

7.)     Love upon sacrifice

8.)     Before the AND word, “Take eat, take drink.”

SERVERS

I hear a woman in a complaining voice say, “I want to receive communion from the pastor!” Say what you want, I had no words to palliate her frustration. The penultimate AND that connects the shepherd and the sheep, the pastor and the communicant is somewhat severed by other servers. (The time may come when the mega-church will place a table in front of the chancel, with the elements on either end. The communicants pass by and help themselves, while the pastor, as they say, “presides” in back of the table looking on with folded hands. I would guess there will be members who will go for the aisle where the pastor is “serving.”) The ultimate AND, which is rare, is when the pastor offers the pledges to each communicant by name as each one receives into his hand and mouth the blessing AND of Word of Sacrament for his testamental inheritance.

THE WAY IT WAS

Registration for Communion (Anmeldung)

The Friday afternoon and evening before communion Sunday was open house at the Pastor’s study, located in the parsonage with a separate door and vestibule. In some places the parsonage was attached to the church building, one door of the study to the pastor’s house, the other to a corridor of the church, or even the chancel itself. Contiguous to school and playground was the parking lot. Every member had the option to see his pastor in the privacy of his workshop, his most personal domain. As one visitor said, as he respectfully surveyed my study, “This is where the sermon comes from.” If no more than a handshake or a parting word, such as, “God bless your going to Communion,” it was another AND in brining Word and Sacrament together.

The soul of the Shepherd is in his study. With no intervening secretary and office accouterments distracting, there is the fortress of your personal, pastoral self. You withdraw “with your disciple to a place alone.” It is a situation that is to be had nowhere else. It is not a clinic, an agency, a hospital, a shop, a store or a business. The otherwise reluctant pastor, the reserved type or the out-going kind will find the same elements blend into a relaxed, pleasant environment. While some members register on the phone, there is at least some voice contact.

Call it counseling, but that sounds too structured. Counseling suggests fees, appointments and obligations.

The Pastor’s study has history in Scripture. 2 Kings 4,8f. The Shunamite woman says to her husband, “Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and the lamp for him. Then he can stop there whenever he comes to us.” As a place for pleasant conversation, read the chapter. Picture the people of Shunem enjoying a pastoral visit as even with children, they climb the outside stairs leading to the study door of Elisha. Even today there are parsonages with separate door and door bell. A good place for connecting AND in the door way of the Shunem-room.

ADDENDUM

If you do sermonettes (a novelty suffered by some pastors), replace it with CHRISTENLEHRE (Christian-teaching). Once or twice a month have the catechism-confirmation class sit in the front bench of the church. After the Epistle, with catechism in hand, the pastor leaves the lectern. The class rises and speaks the words of the chief part of the current lesson. The congregation joins in, following from memory or the page in Lutheran Worship. After the class sits down, there follow about ten questions, answered on a show-of-hand basis. The potential for slicing in teaching points in a pleasant, informal manner is natural and engaging. Total time about 5 to 6 minutes. Repeat the chief part with class and congregation in unison for the conclusion. See Luke 2,39-45 for the first New Testament Christenlehre. “He was both answering and asking them questions,” coordinating the Word And the Passover. Another opportunity to observe, Word AND Sacrament.

About 65 years ago, Father Coughlin, at the church of the Little Flower, Royal Oak, Michigan spent several minutes in a catechetical format with a class of seventh and eighth graders on his radio program every Sunday for years. Coast to coast, it was outstanding!

If you church broadcasts, think of the potential of engaging the interest of young people listening in as they hear children’s voices in conversation with you. Without words, an opportunity to put into practice the sincerity of our mission. Another And!


Fred Precht, Lutheran Worship, History and Practice. Edited by Fred Precht, CPH, 1993, page 322ff.

Hermann Sasse, This Is My Body. Luther Publishing House, 1988.

Hermann Sasse, We Confess the Sacraments. Vol. 2, CPH, 1985.

Bjarne Wollan Teigen, The Lord’s Supper in the Theology of Martin Chemnitz, Trinity Lutheran Press, Brewster, Mass. 02631, 1986.

Concordia Pulpit, Index, 1934 Volumes 1-5. 21 Communion Addresses.

1940, Volumes 6-10. 10 Communion Addresses.

1945, Volumes 11-15. No confessional addresses.

1953, Volumes 16-20. Lord’s Supper, 4 sermons.

1967-1980, None.

Concordia Triglotta – The Smalcald Articles, page 495. 1921, St. Louis.

Martin Luther, Sammtliche Schriften, CPH, St. Louis, 1901.

Volume 17, pages 1513-1615

Volume 23, Index: Abendmahl

Volume 20, page 734ff.


General Reading


Charles P. Arand,  Catechismal Services: A Bridge Between Evangelism and Assimilation. 7/97, Concordia Journal, p. 177ff.

Rev. Joel Brondos, For the Life of the World, Vol. 1. No. 1, page 6, Is There a Prerequisite to Receive Forgiveness? Concordia Theological Seminary Press, Fort Wayne, December, 1997.

Martin Chemnitz, Ministry, Word and Sacraments, An Enchiridion. CPH, 1981.

          The Lord’s Supper, CPH, 1979

          The Two Natures in Christ, CPH, 1971. See pages 519 and 525 in Index, Real Presence and Communion.

Adolf Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, Baker Book House, 1965 page 104, Jesus says the prospective Pastor, Apostle Peter will receive “A portion of corn (wheat)” Sitometrion Luke 12, 42.

E. Eckhard-Blair, Nebraska, 1908. Homiletisches Reallexikon Nebst Index Rerum, Success Printing, Co., St. Louis, Battle Creek Nebraska, 1914. Under Abendmahl, 30 pages.

          Anmeldung (Registration for communion) 2 pages.

          Under Beichdtgottesdienst, 2 pages.

Werner Elert, Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries, CPH 1966.

Adam Fahling, A Harmony of the Gospels, Zondervan Pub. House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, page 180ff. 1944.

Arthur J. Just Jr., Luke. Volume 2, CPH, 1996, page 577 on Table Fellowship.

Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, The United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia, page 85ff.

Theodore Laetsch, DD, edited by him. The Abiding Word. Vol. 2, CPH, 1947 page 367f. 423f.

Richard E. Muller, Concordia Theological Quarterly, Vol. 61, January 1997.

.              A Lutheran Professor educated at Westminster Theological Seminary looks for similarities and dissimilarities.

Paul W. Nesper, Biblical Texts. Wartburg Press, Second printing, 1995, pages 33-51.

Thomas C. Oden, Corrective Love: The Power of Communion Discipline. CPH, 1995. “The recovery of liturgical forms of confession, absolution, and the nurture of the Christian life await more careful study in seminaries.” P. 133.

The Bible.


MEMORIAL TO MISSOURI DISTRICT CONVENTION – 1982

Subject: The Celebration of the Lord’s Supper at conventions and rallies.

Statement:   In recent years it has become “custom” to celebrate the Lord’s Supper at Synodical, District, LWML, LLL conventions, retreats and Concordia campuses.

                    This practice has proliferated without direct permission, mutual discussion or resolution to proportions that have drifted to conditions that are out of order and beyond control.

Whereas......The Lord’s Supper is so sacred and so precious an action that it must be handled with the utmost protection, and

Whereas......the instruction Paul gives the Corinthians is so sharp and vehement that we be alert and circumspect regarding the administration of the Sacrament, and

Whereas......we assume that a congregation, pastor and elders have a shepherd attitude, hovering over the flock of communicants in a personal and intimate setting, usually in a local church facility, and

Whereas......the present practice of celebration of the Lord’s Supper at conventions and rallies has outrun the tether of congregational responsibility, even surpassing common sense, embracing proportions that make distribution deteriorate to a wholesale, impersonal, faceless type of production, an open hope-for-the-best distribution with no chance of follow-up responsibility, and

Whereas......the principle of good order is left dangling, and leaves unanswered such questions as: who is the Pastor, who are the elders helping him, who is “checking” those coming forward to be communed, who is even attempting to be set in place to make that altar a base for follow-up and follow-through for future spiritual nourishment and sustenance, and

Whereas......mass communions create a context in which sensitive features of the Sacramental aura between Pastor and communicant, shepherd and sheep are shaded by the once-now-and-not-again motion of ceremonial tension, and

Whereas......there is no record of any district or Synodical convention officially recommending or authorizing these celebrations, but rather that we have just drifted into it, therefore, be it

Resolved.....that we (Districts, Synods, Rallies, Concordias) do not arrogate to ourselves sacramental privileges which we are totally unable to administer with follow-up, pastoral responsibility and minimum personal recognition (“I am my brother’s keeper”) and be it further

Resolved.....that by brotherly consent we agree to “forego” the sacramental sharing of fellowship where the dimensions are unmanageable and be it further

Resolved.....that in order to secure the blessings of the Sacrament in a time and place that is normal, manageable, responsible and worthy, (in the presence of the awesome mystery, as we reflect that conviction with the utmost protective measures and tightest strictures, feeling with the Corinthians Paul’s sharp rebuke in regard to disorder)

          That we recommend two options:

                    1/       that sister congregations of the convention locale or city schedule delegates on a voluntary basis to be guests on a Sunday during the convention in their regular worship services,

           or

                    2/       that delegates receive the sacrament at home on a Sunday previous, together with the home congregation, incorporating this special attendance as a farewell and send-off to the upcoming convention or rally, sending them away with prayer and benediction as they did at Antioch, and be it further

Resolved.....that as we are unable to keep order or record in a record mass communion, (row on row, possibly sweeping to the Sacrament a chance reporter, an unrepentant sinner “stealing” the Sacrament, or a random walk-in), that we cease and desist this practice, and be it further

Resolved.....that we take seriously the familiar words of the prayer, “that no one take this sacrament to his damnation.” And, therefore, in keeping with this prayer, then do what by the help of God we righteously do not want to promote anyone to do…(to keep the holy, HOLY!) and be it further

Resolved.....that we declare that Communion, when celebrated outside the congregation is an anomaly, invites problems, tends to disorder, renders evangelical counsel and pastoral responsibility impossible, and be it further

Resolved.....that while we recognize that large conventions, rallies can do many things and have their place, Communion is not one of them, and be it finally

 

Resolved.....that the Missouri District bring this matter to the next Synodical convention for study and settlement.

                              Ebenezer Lutheran Church

                              Leslie, Missouri 63056

                              F.A. Hertwig, Pastor

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