Tuesday, September 15, 2009

9/16 Passing the Baton- the tradition

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

23For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. (1 Cor. 11:23-26 NIV)

Calvin abridged: The institution of Christ is a sure rule, so that if you turn aside from it even a little, you are out of the right course. So he calls the Corinthians back as they had strayed away. This passage should be carefully observed, as showing that there is no remedy for correcting and purging going astray short of a return to God’s pure institution. The Lord himself- when he was talking about marriage (Mt. 19:3) and the Scribes brought forward what was their custom and Moses permissions- refers them to the Father’s institution as inviolable law. 23- “I received from the Lord”- Paul says that there is not authority that is any higher in the Church than the Lord alone. Paul was not delivering them an invention of his own. He did not contrive a new kind of Supper, according to his own preferences, but he has Christ as his authority. “I also passed onto you”- Paul was handing the tradition over, as it came from the original source. The authority of Christ is much more stable than human laws. “The night in which he was betrayed”- the time given tells us the purpose of the sacrament. The purpose is that the benefit of Christ’s death may be made real in us. “Do this in remembrance of me”- The Supper is a memorial given as a help to our weakness; If we were sufficiently mindful of the death of Christ, this help would not be necessary. All sacraments are helps to our weakness. Some say that Christ is not present in the Supper because a remembrance implies something that is absent. They are right in that Christ is absent in the sense in which the Supper is a commemoration. Christ is not visibly present or seen with our eyes. But the symbols excite our memory by representing him. The place of Christ’s body has not changed, but the importance of the body is very real and present.
Thought- Paul was passing down the tradition of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper, just as he passes down the tradition about the resurrection in I Corinthians 15. Grasping the tradition and message of the gospel is very important. Calvin says the tradition is a corrective to us. The next important thing is passing on the tradition to the next generation.

Prayer: Help us, O Lord to perceive the truths of your gospel and then to pass them on to the next generation.

No comments:

Post a Comment