Correcting the record on Lutheran Communion

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, October 24, 2018

In light of the article titled “Communion ceremonies vary among denominations” that was published in the Thursday, Oct. 11, edition of the Bulletin, we wish to submit the following correction.

We Lutherans do believe, teach and confess that “the bread and wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ,” according to Jesus’ own word and instituted new covenant. Our risen Lord feeds his flock with his own flesh and blood.

The body and blood of Jesus are present in the bread and wine supernaturally. We differ from RC and Greek Orthodox, who teach two things are given and received (body and blood), differing as well from Presbyterian, Reformed, Baptists and other groups who teach two things are given and received (bread and wine). We teach Jesus gives his true body and blood in bread and wine, so that four things are given and received by all who commune.

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Now, Jesus puts his body and blood there for us Christians to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of our sins. The latter point is of the utmost importance and comfort: in the supper, the very forgiveness of sins is bestowed on all who eat and drink believing.

This is Jesus’ teaching and doing. “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, ‘the for-many-shed’ blood, for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28). In accordance with Paul’s words, lest they fall under judgment, those who confess otherwise are not allowed to commune, not recognizing Jesus’ body (1 Cor. 11:23-29; note the last verse).

It should be pointed out we Lutherans reject and condemn as an abomination before God the Pope’s practice known as “the sacrifice of the mass.” You can read what Lutherans teach regarding this online at: Smalcald Articles, Part II, Article II [The Mass]. Rome’s teaching “runs into direct and violent conflict with this fundamental article” [namely, the immediately preceding “Article I. Christ and Faith” in SA].

In Christ Jesus, Pastor Thomas Olson, Trinity Lutheran Church, Tryon