Anna and I (like I suspect many other people in our year) yesterday (re)read Calvin’s short treatise on the Lord’s Supper. I shouldn’t be surprised by now, but I’m always blown away by how pastoral Calvin’s writing is. Below is paragraph 18 which gripped Anna and I and we had to pause briefly to ponder how much we had devalued the Lord’s Supper. I suspect that I may have converted today from a Zwinglian view of the Lord’s Supper to a Calvinistic position.
Incidentally paragraph 32 smacked us around a bit as well. I’ll comment on that tomorrow.
18. IN THE SUPPER WE ARE REMINDED OF OUR DUTY TOWARDS GOD.
The second benefit of the Supper is, that it admonishes and incites us more strongly to recognise 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. For in ourselves we are so negligent that we rarely think of the goodness of God, if he do not arouse us from our indolence, and urge us to our duty. Now there cannot be a spur which can pierce us more to the quick than when he makes us, so to speak, see with the eye, touch with the hand, and distinctly perceive this inestimable blessing of feeding on his own substance. This he means to intimate when he commands us to show forth his death till he come. (1 Cor. xi. 26.) If it is then so essential to salvation not to overlook the gifts which God has given us, but diligently to keep them in mind, and extol them to others for mutual edification; we see another singular advantage of the Supper in this, that it draws us off from ingratitude, and allows us not to forget the benefit which our Lord Jesus bestowed upon us in dying for us, but induces us to render him thanks, and, as it were, publicly protest how much we are indebted to him.