Three Benefits of Taking the Lord’s Supper from John Calvin


Here, then, is the singular comfort that we derive from the Supper. It directs and leads us to the cross of Jesus Christ and to his resurrection, to certify us that whatever iniquity there may be in us, the Lord nevertheless recognizes and accepts us as righteous—whatever materials of death may be in us, he nevertheless gives us life— whatever misery, may be in us, he nevertheless fills us with all felicity.

The second benefit of the Supper is, that it admonishes and incites us more strongly to recognize the blessings which we have received, and receive daily from the Lord Jesus, in order that we may ascribe to him the praise which is due.

The third advantage of the Sacrament consists in furnishing a most powerful incitement to live a holy life, and especially observe charity and brotherly love toward all. For seeing we have been made members of Jesus Christ, being incorporated into him, and united with him as our head, it is most reasonable that we should become conformable to him in purity and innocence, and especially that we should cultivate charity and concord together as becomes members of the same body.

Therefore, we come to the Lord’s Table not because we are strong, but because we are weak. We come not because any goodness of our own gives us a right to come, but because we need mercy and help. We come, because we love the Lord and want to experience more of His love. We come, because He first loved us and gave Himself for us on the cross.

In light of this, the minister encourages us to lift up our hearts and minds above our cares and fears and let this bread and wine be to us the token and pledge of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, all meant for us if we will receive them in humble faith.

The Psalmist invites us all to “take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the LORD…”

(Adapted from a communion liturgy printed in Worship Now, vol. 1 (Iona Community, Church of Scotland)

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