Monday, July 11, 2005

The Lord's Supper and Loving Your Neighbor

An excellent Eucharistic exhortation from Douglas Wilson:

Let no man seek his own, St. Paul says. This is an essential part of discerning the Lord’s body. We are to discern the Lord’s body, among other ways, in one another.

As you partake of the Supper, do not close yourself up into a little private spiritual room. Feel free to look around at your brothers and sisters. Think of them, pray for them, consider how you might seek their best interest. In doing this, ask God to bring to mind ways that you might bring a blessing to them. Look around you in faith, and if you do, then you will see Jesus Christ.

Too often we view the Supper negatively. Of course it is important to put away all malice or envy. But do not stop there. Consider how to seek another man’s well-being. Doing him good is not the same thing as not doing him evil. In turning away from sin as we approach the Supper, as we ought to do, let us be careful not to set the standard too low.

At the last day, Jesus will commend those who saw Him in the prisoner, in the hungry, in the ill-clothed. He will reject those who rejected Him in these same people. Do not be like those who are willing to defend and excuse and demand explanations, while standing before the Maker of heaven and earth, and to do this moments before their condemnation. If that kind of moral stupidity is to be avoided then, the best course is to avoid it now. Look to your neighbor -- and don’t ask who is your neighbor -- and take this food to nourish you for the pleasant task of loving one another.