Call to Worship July 21 2019
The Lord’s Supper by Thomas Watson
“4. We must come to the Lord’s Supper with LONGING hearts. Say as Christ, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover,’ Luke 22:15. If God prepares a feast—we must get an appetite. As David longed for the water of the well of Bethlehem, 2 Samuel 23:15, so should we long for Christ in the Lord’s Supper. Holy desires are the sails of the soul which are spread to receive the gale of a heavenly blessing. For the exciting of holy desires and longings, consider:
(1) The MAGNIFICENCE and ROYALTY of this supper. It is a heavenly banquet. ‘The Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines,’ Isaiah 25:6. Here in this Supper, is the juice of that grape which comes from the true Vine. Under these elements of bread and wine, Christ and all His benefits are exhibited to us. The Lord’s Supper is a repository and storehouse of celestial blessings. Behold here, life and peace and salvation set before us! All the sweet delicacies of heaven are served in this feast!
(2) To provoke appetite, consider what NEED we have of this spiritual feast. The angel persuaded Elijah to take a little of the cake and jar of water that he might not faint in his journey. ‘Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you,’ 1 Kings 19:7. So truly we have a great journey—from earth to heaven. Therefore, we need to refresh ourselves along the way. How many sins have we to subdue! How many duties to perform! How many needs to supply! How many graces to strengthen! How many adversaries to conflict with! So that we need refreshment along the way. By feeding upon the body and blood of the Lord in the Supper—we renew our strength as the eagle.
(3) Consider CHRIST’S READINESS to dispense divine blessings in this ordinance. Jesus Christ is not a sealed fountain—but a flowing fountain. It is but our crying—and He gives us food. It is but thirsting—and He opens the conduit. ‘Let the thirsty ones come—anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge!’ Revelation 22:17. As the clouds have natural proneness to drop down their moisture upon the earth—so does Christ delight to give forth of His gracious virtues and influences, to the hungry soul.
(4) There is no danger of EXCESS at this supper. Other feasts often cause gluttony; it is not so here. The more we take of the Bread of life—the more healthful we are, and the more we come to our spiritual maturity. Fullness here, increases our comforts. In spiritual things there is no extreme. Though a drop of Christ’s blood is sweet, yet the more, the better; the more, the sweeter. ‘Drink abundantly, O beloved!’ Song of Solomon 5:1.
(5) We do not know how long this feast may last. While the manna is to be had—let us bring our baskets! God will not always be spreading the Supper-table. If people lose their appetite, He will take the Supper away.
(6) Feeding upon Christ sacramentally, will be a good preparation to sufferings. The Bread of life—will help us to feed upon the bread of affliction. The cup of blessing—will enable us to drink of the cup of persecution. Christ’s blood is a choice wine which strengthens. Therefore, Cyprian tells us, when the primitive Christians were to appear before the cruel tyrants, they were accustomed to receive the Lord’s Supper, and then they arose up from the Lord’s Supper as lions breathing forth the fire of heavenly courage. Let these considerations be as sauce to sharpen our appetites to the Lord’s Supper. God loves to see us feed hungrily upon the Bread of life.
5. If we would come prepared to this ordinance, we must come with PENITENT hearts. The Passover was to be eaten with bitter herbs. We must bring our myrrh of repentance which, though it is bitter to us—is sweet to Christ. ‘They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced—and mourn for Him,’ Zechariah 12:10. A broken Christ is to be received with a broken heart. We who have sinned with Peter—should weep with Peter. Our eyes should be filled with tears—and our hearts steeped in the brinish waters of repentance. Say, ‘Lord Jesus, though I cannot bring sweet spices, and perfume Your body as Mary did—yet I will wash Your feet with my tears.’ The more bitterness we taste in sin—the more sweetness we shall taste in Christ!
6. We must come with SINCERE hearts. The tribes of Israel, being straitened in time, lacked some legal purifications. Yet because their hearts were sincere and they came with desire to meet with God in the Passover, therefore the Lord healed the people, 2 Chronicles 30:19-20. Bad aims will spoil good actions. An archer may miss the mark as well by squinting—as by shooting short. What is our design in coming to the Lord’s Supper? Is it that we may have more victory over our corruptions and be more confirmed in holiness? Then God will be good to us and heal us. Sincerity, like true gold, shall allow for some grains of impurity.”