When Christ instituted this meal, He did so as a means of spiritual comfort. John’s account of the Upper Room is laden with ocean depths of assurance, comfort, and peace for troubled hearts. We must be often reminded that this meal wasn’t instituted in a lecture hall for remedial students; rather, it was in the warmth of a family meal. The tone of Christ’s Upper Room discourse isn’t the shrill voice of the schoolmarm. Rather, the overarching tone is the firm voice of redemption’s peace, comfort, and blessing.
Here’s as lengthy of a sampling as we have space for: “Let not your heart be troubled (Jn. 14:1). I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter […] even the Spirit of Truth (Jn. 14:16, 17a). By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (Jn.13:35). Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken to you (Jn 15:3). Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you (Jn. 15: 14). Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full (Jn. 16:23-24). I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (Jn. 14:6).”
Here, as the catechism teaches, is your only comfort in life, and in death. Are you weary? This meal is your strength. Are you worried? This meal is your peace. Are you troubled? Then here is hope. Are you grieved with guilt? Here is the Father’s mercy. Are you fearful? Here is confidence. Are you lost? Here is Christ, the only Way to the Father. God invites all who are baptized into Christ to come and receive in this bread & wine true & eternal Comfort.
So come in faith and welcome to Jesus Christ…