A Reading from the Book of Concord 1 year series March 18, 2012 - Laetare: The Fourth Sunday in Lent
The following reading from the CONCORDIA edition of the Book of Concord is for the Gospel, John 6:1-15 for the Laetare: The Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 18, 2012.
It is from Large Catechism, The Sacrament of the Altar.
Just as Jesus blessed the fishes and loaves to provide for 5000 men gathered in a mountain field with much left over, so He blesses bread and wine to give His body and blood to countless saints gathered around altars unto the end of the age and there is always more for the next feast.
8 "Now, what is the Sacrament of the Altar?" Answer, "It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, in and under the bread and wine, which we Christians are commanded by Christ's Word to eat and to drink." 9 Just as we have said that Baptism is not simple water, so here also we say that though the Sacrament is bread and wine, it is not mere bread and wine, such as are ordinarily served at the table [1 Corinthians 10:16-17]. But this is bread and wine included in, and connected with, God's Word. 10 It is the Word, I say, that makes and sets this Sacrament apart. So it is not mere bread and wine, but is, and is called, Christ's body and blood [1 Corinthians 11:23-27]. For it is said, "When the Word is joined to the element or natural substance, it becomes a Sacrament." This saying of St. Augustine is so properly and so well put that he has scarcely said anything better. The Word must make a Sacrament out of the element, or else it remains a mere element. 11 Now, it is not the word or ordinance of a prince or emperor. But it is the Word of the grand Majesty, at whose feet all creatures should fall and affirm it is as He says, and accept it with all reverence, fear, and humility [Isaiah 45:23; Philippians 2:10]. 12 With this Word you can strengthen your conscience and say, "If a hundred thousand devils, together with all fanatics, should rush forward, crying, 'How can bread and wine be Christ's body and blood?' and such, I know that all spirits and scholars together are not as wise as is the Divine Majesty in His little finger" [see 1 Corinthians 1:25]. 13 Now here stands Christ's Word, "Take, eat; this is My body.… Drink of it, all of you; this is My blood of the new testament," and so on. Here we stop to watch those who will call themselves His masters and make the matter different from what He has spoken. . . . What Christ's lips say and speak, so it is. He can never lie or deceive [Titus 1:2].
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.
Lord grant you faith in His grace alone for your salvation unto eternal life. Amen