This article is about the Lord's Supper and our growth in thankfulness.

Source: Clarion, 1999. 3 pages.

Preparing for the Lord’s Supper - Self-examination and Thankfulness


From the Form for the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper🔗

Self-examination is an important aspect of the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. The Form for the Celebration of the Lord’s Supper tells us that true self-examination consists of three parts. This meditation focuses on the third part:

Third, let everyone examine his conscience whether it is his sincere desire to show true thankfulness to God with his entire life, and laying aside all enmity, hatred, and envy, to live with his neighbour in true love and unity.

Planning for the Future🔗

God’s wrath is deserved!

And yet, forgiveness – with You, Lord!

Of course, something else must yet follow. I understand quite well that during these days of preparation I must consider the future. Celebrating the Lord’s Supper has consequences. Faith is never noncommittal. Faith has far-reaching consequences.

So, what about my plans and intentions? What are they? If I were to invent them by myself, then the saying that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” could well prove true.

And that is not the way to go about it.

Actually, I just can’t rely on good intentions if next Sunday I want to sit down at the table of the Lord to celebrate his meal. For then I would sit there quite depressed because I will realize that sin has again had the upper hand quite often.

I want to sit down in the firm faith that the cross of Christ offers me forgiveness – also me. My good intentions ought to be born at that cross. It is right there that my plans will take on concrete form as an answer to my prayer, “Guide me in your truth, and teach me!” Sure, there must be good intentions; they show the attitude of a thankful heart. The path of each believer is paved which such good intentions. It just cannot be any different, but only because my path through life and through this world always leads me past that cross of Christ.

That’s the road I ought to see before me as I eat the bread and drink from the cup. Right now I ought to be convinced: that is the road which I want to travel.

In thankfulness and full honesty. Honest before God’s face.

Because the LORD considers the heart.

But I am not alone at the cross.

My wife – my husband stands next to me. It is not always good between the two of us. Anger, irritation, misunderstanding, jealousy...

My father and mother are standing there as well. They still do not understand that I am no longer a child. They are full of prejudice and critique. If I am honest I’ll admit that there is always tension between us.

My son – my daughter is there as well. Does she really mean it? Hardly ever does he speak about these things, and if they do, they speak in such a strange way, almost flippant and irreverent.

My neighbour is also present...

My client – my supplier...

My relatives – my colleagues...

I am not alone at the cross. I am not the only sinner.

I am going to celebrate the Lord’s Supper once again. Therefore I have to consider the future. God will be there – in the future. God – and my neighbour.

I already know right now what I will receive at the table of the Lord.

But there is that ancient command: love the Lord above everything else, and your neighbour as yourself.

Can I do that? Can I pull that off? Not in my own power.

That’s exactly why I so badly need the sign and seal of the bread and wine.

In this way the Holy Spirit will strengthen my faith.

In this way faith in Jesus Christ gives me more and more the strength to serve God, my LORD, with my whole life, and from now on, to live in love and peace with my neighbour.

Readings for the Week of Preparation🔗

Romans 12:1-8
Romans 12:9-21
Romans 13:8-14
Galatians 6:1-10
Hebrews 12:1-7
Hebrews 12:18-29
1 Peter 3:8-18
Morning: 1 John 1:5-2:6
Evening: 1 John 2:7-11

Singing: Psalm 25:2, 7🔗

2. Show Thou unto me, Thy servant,
    All Thy ways and teach Thou me,
    So that by Thy Spirit guided,
    Clearly I Thy paths may see.
    In Thy truth wilt Thou me guide,
    Teach me, God of my salvation;
    All the day for Thee I bide, LORD,
    with eager expectation.

7. To His people, who revere Him,
    Has the LORD His friendship shown,
    And He will to all who fear Him Make
    His steadfast covenant known.
    With a confidence complete,
    Toward the LORD my eyes are turning.
    From the net He’ll pluck my feet;
    He will not despise my yearning.

From the Scriptures🔗

Psalm 31:21-24🔗

  1. Praise be to the LORD, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city.

  2. In my alarm I said, “I am cut off from your sight!” Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.

  3. Love the LORD, all you saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full.

  4. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

Ephesians 4:1-6🔗

  1. As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

  2. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

  3. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

  4. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called.

  5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism;

  6. One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.