The many attempts to provide a visual aid for the Trinity devolve, sooner or later, into visual aids for heresies instead. No, the Triune God is not like an egg, or a shamrock, or states of water. When we come to this table, weâ€™re tempted to make almost the inverse mistake: that of thinking that the bread and wine are only visual aids. Where visual aids for the Trinity demean transcendent truthsâ€“â€“tarnishing them with unhelpful symbolsâ€“â€“the danger here is thinking that the bread and wine are nothing but a visual aid.
If it were just a visual aid, there would be no issue with a rotation of different ones each week. A Shepherd. A Door. A Light. A Refiners Fire. A Vine. But this meal is far beyond just a useful illustration.
These elements are not only visual signs, theyâ€™re also performative signs. They seal what they signify. They confer what they display. This bread & wine do what Jesus says they do. Christ commanded us to memorialize Him, until He comes again, by partaking of His body & blood. In this meal we really do partake. While our minds, of course, are reminded of Christ broken and bleeding on the cross, more is happening here than just a mnemonic device. This meal, when taken in faith, is our partaking in that death, our enjoyment of the blessings it gives, and our reception of the fellowship it bestows.
This is true food for our faith, because Jesus is fed to us here. This is true fellowship because Christ unites us with the Father and with each other. This is the medicine for the sickness weâ€™re stricken with. This is Living Water to quench our thirst. Because this is Christ, given for you.
So come in faith, and welcome to Jesus Christ…