22 September 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Great indeed is the honor put upon our bodies, inasmuch as they are the dwelling places of our souls redeemed and fed by the body of Christ, and are the temples of the Holy Ghost and the abodes of the adorable Trinity. It cannot be that they should ever remain in the grave, since they are thus nourished with the body and blood of our Lord. -- Johann Gerhard, *Sacred Meditations* XVIII

4 comments:

Joel said...

Fr. Weedon, since your quote mentioned the precious Body and Blood, may I ask you a related question? The CPH-published, Sunday school study guide used at our church, The Means of Grace, refers to Holy Communion as a four-ingredient affair: bread, wine, Body, Blood. When I maintained that the bread is the Body and the wine is the Blood, so that, contrary to the study guide, Holy Communion is a two-ingredient matter, I found myself rather isolated. Who is the true Lutheran here? When I am given the elements, am I receiving bread that is Body and wine that is Blood, or am I receiving bread and wine and alongside them, invisibly, Body and Blood?

William Weedon said...

Joel,

That one's not an either/or for Lutherans. Our Symbols confess that the bread is Christ's body and also that Christ's body is under or with the bread. This reflects Scripture's own usage. Our Lord obviously said that the bread IS His body; but His Apostle can speak of the bread as the COMMUNION of His Body, and calls even the consecrated element "bread." So the true Lutheran position is not to make an either/or. We joyfully confess that the bread is Christ's body and that Christ's body is with or under the bread via the sacramental union.

William Weedon said...

P.S. Krauth has a great section on this and shows how this is also exactly how the Church fathers spoke of the Eucharist!

Paul said...

lex orandi, lex credendi.
LSB 623
Lord Jesus Christ, we humble pray that we may feast on You today; beneath these forms of bread and wine enrich us with Your grace divine.