A Dutch theologian, Wilhelmus á Brakel, once said, “[The Word of God] is a brook from which a lamb may drink and an ocean in which an elephant can drown.” Whether it is hearing God’s Word preached, reading the Bible in private, or eating the Word made flesh in the Lord’s Supper we should always remember this twofold reality. God’s Word is a gentle brook of sweet comfort to those who come in faith to drink of it. But it’s also vast, unmeasured, boundless, free, rolling like a mighty ocean. The Christian finds comfort in the sheer vastness and thunderous power of God’s Word, but also finds stunning glory in its simple truth: God sent His Son to save sinners.
The non-Christian sees the exact opposite. Wherever they turn, God’s Word is an ocean of His justice confronting them with the guilt of their sin; and when they are invited to the brook of God’s grace, their pride sees an insulting abyss which will swallow all their self-righteousness. To the unbeliever, the Word is a raging tsunami of judgement. To the believer, it is a bottomless, shoreless, endless stream of comfort, healing, forgiveness, and love. The unrepentant sinner finds it a horror; the repentant saint finds it an unspeakable joy.
So This Word we are about to eat is meant as a warning to those who take it without faith, yet it is nourishment to those who believe. As a Narnian might put it, “the safest place to be is between the wild paws of the Lion.” The great and incomprehensible glory of our union with Christ is set before us today in these simple signs of bread & wine. The body and blood of our Savior.
So come in faith, and welcome to Jesus…