When Jesus had spoken these words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee, since thou hast given Him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all who thou hast given Him. And this is eternal life, that they know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” –John 17:1- 26
Today, more than any day of the year, is the day of the Meal—the day on which we celebrate the institution of our Lord’s Holy Supper. For what is Holy Communion about but, as Jesus says above, “knowing the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”
Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper so that we could know Him, and the Father who sent Him. To be sure, those who do not believe in the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament, and those who do not receive His sacramental presence, can still come to know God. But for sacramental Christians, our deepest fellowship with the Holy Godhead comes in the Eucharist. This is where God feeds us, shares us, gives Himself to us completely, totally, unreservedly, through the incarnate, flesh-and-blood presence of Jesus in the sacrament. If we would not have the Lord’s Supper, we would surely go hungry spiritually and not have such an intimate knowledge of the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. While our Lord comes to us also in the Word, in the Lord’s Supper He becomes “bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh.” Yes, the Adam and Eve/husband and wife marriage imagery is intentional, as this is the marriage feast of the Bridegroom, Jesus and His bride, the Church.
There is much that can be discussed about the purpose and meaning of Maundy Thursday; hopefully, that will happen for us in the church’s worship. We look forward to the greater unfolding of the Lord’s Supper and the reason for this day as we gather for Word and Sacrament. But let us keep this in mind throughout this day: We have fellowship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Sacrament of the Altar, as we eat and drink our Lord’s Body and Blood, broken and poured out for us. In this, we truly experience “Holy…. Communion”!
Almighty God, in the Lord’s Supper, grant that we may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, that we may have eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Taken from Wendel, David, From Ashes to Easter, Ashes Lenten Devotional Booklet, North American Lutheran Church.