“This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)
At the Last Supper that we remember this week, Jesus could have simply said, “Your sins are forgiven. Remember me.” But instead he broke bread and passed it to his disciples. “This is my body,” he said. “Given for you.”
We could worship a God who stands apart from the world, looking down from on high. An omnipotent being who sees all, but feels nothing. Instead we worship a God who came to earth in the physical body of Jesus (incarnate, “in flesh”). We worship a God who walked among us, died on a cross, and three days later was resurrected.
Jesus’ body, broken. His blood, shed.
Jesus’ physical death and resurrection show us that physical bodies matter. Jesus’ body and blood are given for us. This is not just a metaphysical metaphor, it is “the true body and blood of the Lord Christ, in and under the bread and wine” (Luther’s Large Catechism).
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Our physical lives matter to God
Our physical lives matter. They matter to God. That’s why Lutheran World Relief works so hard to help the real, physical lives of millions of people around the world.
Higher incomes mean coffee farmers in Uganda can put more food on their tables.
Greater access to financial services means women in Honduras can send their children to school longer.
And better shelter means that families in the Philippines are safer when the next storm comes.
As we celebrate Holy Week and Easter, we give thanks to a God whose life, death and resurrection show us what incarnate love looks like.
God of the incarnation,
We give you thanks for the bread and wine that feeds our bodies and souls.
We praise you for your sacrifice of love, for showing us what true love is.
Guide our hearts this week to see others as you see us: beloved.
We ask all this in the name of the one who was, who is, and who is to come; Jesus Christ our Lord.