The Heavenly Banquet

April 2023

“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” Isaiah 25:6-9

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This month’s TLO Disciple theme is “The Heavenly Banquet.” We all enjoy being invited to a banquet. The great heavenly banquet that Isaiah speaks is like no other. This banquet takes place on God’s holy mountain and destroys the veil that covers all people of all nations. What is this covering? Death and all its evils. The work of swallowing up death and its evils is impossible for us because all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and are under the curse of death.

Who will go for us and who can rescue us from this veil of tears, the evil enemy, death, and finally win the victory? Rejoice and be glad! God Himself has swallowed up death forever on Mount Calvary. God Himself has gone to battle defeating sin, death and the devil once and for all through the cross of Christ. Isaiah’s prophecy has been fulfilled. Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, gave His life as a ransom for many. The victory has been won. Jesus Christ, who was crucified, has risen, just as He said. The veil that separated us from God has been ripped open. Your sin is forgiven.

Jesus invites all to come to the marriage feast of the Lamb. The Lord Almighty has made everything ready. He invites you to come to the feast. This invitation is extended to you already now in the Lord’s Supper, the foretaste of the feast to come. Don’t despise God’s invitation. Come. Confess your sin. Come, dressed in the robe of righteousness that God gave you in your baptism. Receive the finest of foods, Christ Jesus Himself, His body and blood, in with and under the bread and wine for the forgiveness of your sins.

Martin Luther had an interesting way of looking at Christ’s victory over death, probably from his experience living through a plague. He said, “As a plague consumes the body little by little, so Christ is the pestilence of our death and of our old Adam.” Luther compares Jesus to a plague of death. Christ is the pandemic of death, and death will not win. Christ Jesus is death’s worst nightmare. He destroyed death once for all on the cross. Now little by little He reclaims death’s victims, taking Home those who belong to Him, and keeping their souls until He raises their bodies on the last day.

May this month’s TLO Disciple "The Heavenly Banquet" encourage you to remember not only has Jesus defeated death forever, He sets a table before us in the presence of our enemies where God comes to us in grace through Word and Sacrament that we might receive His mercy by faith.

Come to the Feast and Worship our Savior and Lord

Pastor James Kroonblawd

Are You Fanatical about the Lord’s Supper?

November 23, 2020

By Kenneth Wieting

Jesus’ great gift 

Of all the beautiful acts Jesus did, this is the ultimate gift He gave His church before stepping out into the night on Maundy Thursday. He taught them much in the preceding three years. He did many miracles and signs of feeding, healing and rescue in their presence. Then He set His face toward Jerusalem.  

His incarnation, His holy birth, His submission to His parents, His Baptism in the Jordan, His years of visible earthly ministry, all led to the upper room. There at Passover, He prayed high and priestly prayers. He humbly washed dirty feet. Then, He gave His gifts. As He moved steadily to the cross, He bequeathed to His Bride the means by which she would receive forgiveness, His soon-to-be-sacrificed body and blood. 

This was His great gift to His gathered disciples and, by extension, to His church before His walk to Gethsemane. Then came the center of human history, the greatest gift of all, His once-for-all sacrifice for the sin of the world. His sacrifice was followed by His open, empty tomb and bodily resurrection to new life for us. Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Now, He intercedes for us as both God and man and continues His ministry to us as both God and man, with all authority in heaven and on earth — that is, at God’s right hand.  Read entire article 

“Fasting and bodily preparation are indeed a fine outward training; but he is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words, “Given and shed for you for the remission of sins.” But he that does not believe these words, or doubts, is unworthy and unprepared; for the words “for you” require all hearts to believe.” (Small Catechism, 21)

I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 1 Corinthians 10:15-17

All Become One Cake:

A Sermon on the Lord’s Supper - Martin Luther

How then does it happen that we are one bread and partake of one another?

It happens in this way: When I receive the Sacrament, I partake twice. Externally I partake of the Sacrament, inwardly however and spiritually I receive all the benefits of Christ as though I ate physical bread that strengthens the body inwardly. Again, when I receive the Sacrament Christ takes me and devours me and gobbles me up together with my sins. I partake of His righteousness such that His godliness swallows up my sin and misery so that I have nothing but righteousness.

It is the same also among us. We all become one cake and partake of each other. Click here to find out what Luther me Source file

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. John 13:1

A Mighty Fortress of Mercy

The LCMS is showing God’s love to children in Lima, Peru.

Story by Kevin Armbrust

Photography by Erik M. Lunsford

It takes time and patience, and the Lord has plenty of each. So does La Misión Luterana del Perú. Much of the work there starts with children — children who need love and care, children who need Jesus.

Rescuing them from poverty is not the mission, nor is the goal to bring a different culture. “Teaching children the love of Christ through Bible study, the Catechism and daily chapel,” says the Rev. Eddie Hosch, a career missionary through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), “that’s really what we are doing as we also meet their physical needs.”

Pastor Hosch could not contain his joy as he confirmed each person into the Lutheran church. The same joy was reflected in the confirmands. Read the full engaging story.

Where’s the Bread?

Our district weekend retreat was in progress. Everyone was full of joy and looking forward to communion with LWML sisters during the retreat worship service. Months before, one board member had volunteered to bring the bread for communion. You guessed it, she didn’t make a note and forgot all about the commitment.

As the altar was being prepared for the service, the woman was asked, “Where’s the bread for communion?” The woman immediately froze and then began to silently weep. How could she forget something so important, so vital? There was a stunned silence, yet there was no reproach from the woman who was doing the altar care. Everyone stopped for a moment, not sure what to do. There were no stores close by, and even if there were, there was not enough time to go and buy bread. 

A small voice from an onlooker said, “I have my small loaf of special gluten-free bread.” Read the entire amazing story.

A Foretaste of the Feast to Come

Source: Commission on Worship Reporter Insert, Fall 1998

In their reports of Jesus' earthly ministry, the evangelists frequently refer to food. More specifically, they speak of Jesus dining with or feeding others. How often don't we hear the religious leaders complaining that Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners? And what of His miraculous feeding of the thousands?

In several of His parables, Jesus uses the image of a meal to depict the eternal fellowship that we will one day share with Him. In those parables, Jesus highlights the abundance of God's gifts and the joy of feasting in His presence forever.

It should come as no surprise that there is another meal of Jesus that combines all of these themes. It's the Last Supper, where He instituted the meal that we call, among other things, the Lord's Supper. And that meal is of tremendous significance to us, for here our Lord comes to spread before us the magnificent feast of His own body and blood.

How often do we think of the Lord's Supper as a "foretaste of the feast to come"? Instead of looking at our watch to see how long the distribution is taking, how much more beneficial it would be to contemplate how this meal permits us to see a glimpse of that heavenly reality. Let's consider a few of the parallels.

  • In heaven we will be in the immediate presence of the triune God. In the Lord's Supper, Jesus is truly present, giving us His true body and blood under the bread and wine.
  • In heaven Jesus will be our host for all eternity. In the Sacrament He is the Host who invites us to come to Him. What's more, He's also the cook and the butler--and even the food!
  • In heaven Jesus will grant us eternal life. In the Lord's Supper our Lord grants us forgiveness. And as the Small Catechism explains so well, "where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation."

In one of Jesus' parables, a guest is found who is not wearing the wedding garment. Immediately he is thrown out (Matt. 22:1-14). Would you believe that that incident presents us with a dress code for how we are to present ourselves at the Lord's Supper? It's not a prescription for the type of clothing to wear. Rather, we come to this holy meal as guests of the Bridegroom, clothed in His royal righteousness. Through faith we stand before Him, able to take part in the sumptuous feast and the wondrous gifts He lavishes on us.

In the post-communion prayer, we ask God to "keep us firm in the true faith throughout our days of pilgrimage." The very gift that God gives us--faith--He also strengthens in this meal. In that strength, we go out into the world to serve wherever He has sent us.

The Lord's Supper is not an escape from this world, but a continuing source of comfort and strength that enables us to live in this world. Yet, this life is a pilgrimage. The Sacrament reminds us of that as we get our glimpse of heaven and our foretaste of the feast to come. We haven't reached our heavenly home yet, but in his meal we get a taste of that life to come. And with the psalmist, we joyfully proclaim, "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps. 34:8). 

Moments of Assurance – The Great Heavenly Banquet

Rev. Mark Hawkinson gives a meditation on Luke 14:15-24 regarding the great heavenly banquet. Hear sacred music, meditations, and prayer on Moments of Assurance weekdays at 12:00 p.m. CST.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1 ESV

Click to listen to the meditation

The Heavenly Banquet

by Ladell McWhirter

Kingsport, Tennessee

Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9a)!

An invitation to a banquet is an exciting prospect and we anticipate it with much expectation. We begin thinking of the clothes we will wear; the delicious food we will have put before us; and the special guests we will see and hear. The outfit we will select to wear will have to be special – perhaps we’ll even find this an excuse to buy a new dress.

But when we go to the heavenly banquet prepared for us, we will have new clothing presented to us … fine linen, bright and pure … (Revelation 19:8) and it will be a gift from our Savior. Read more

Will God forgive all of my sins?

You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you Psalm 86:5.

When we come to God confessing and repenting of our sins we can be confident of His forgiveness. Christians can begin each day knowing that they are loved by a forgiving God. He promises “For I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more” (Jeremiah 31:34b).

God gives us further assurance of His forgiveness in Holy Communion where through the bread and wine we receive Jesus’ body and blood. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 26:28). …the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7b). What comfort and joy there is in knowing our God loves and forgives us and remembers our sins no more.

Walking with my Lord: Dear Father in heaven, I thank You for the gift of forgiveness. I admit that I am a sinner who needs Your forgiveness daily. Help me to accept Your pardon for all the sins I have committed and for the things I have neglected to do. Lord, in Your mercy, accept my humble prayer made in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Source - Mustard Seed: Begin with God. Authors: Marcia Gomulka, Dcs. Betty Knapp, Myrna Lou Meyer. 4/28 ©2007 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 801 Seminary Place Ste. L010, St. Louis, MO 63105.

The Sacrament of the Altar

Luther’s Small Catechism

As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household

What is the Sacrament of the Altar?

It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ Himself for us Christians to eat and to drink.

Where is this written?

The holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul write: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.”

In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

What is the benefit of this eating and drinking?

These words, “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins,” show us that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?

Certainly not just eating and drinking do these things, but the words written here: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” These words, along with the bodily eating and drinking, are the main thing in the Sacrament. Whoever believes these words has exactly what they say: “forgiveness of sins.”

Who receives this sacrament worthily?

Fasting and bodily preparation are certainly fine outward training. But that person is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

But anyone who does not believe these words or doubts them is unworthy and unprepared, for the words “for you” require all hearts to believe.

Enjoy this online!

Doctrinal Issues – The Lord’s Supper/Holy Communion

Frequently Asked Questions about the The Lord’s Supper/Holy Communion from the LCMS.

Click here for interactive document on The Lord’s Supper/Holy Communion that answers these questions:

1.      Do we commune with the sacrificed or resurrected body and blood?

2.      Can a person use wheat and gluten free Communion wafers as an option?

3.      Are only LCMS members able to commune at an LCMS church?

4.      Who may take Communion to the sick and/or shut-ins?

5.      What does the LCMS teach regarding who may partake in Communion?

6.      What is the LCMS position on early Communion?

7.      Where in the Bible does it say Christ’s body and blood are present at Communion?

8.      Can I get sick from using the Common Cup?

9.      Can women serve Communion?

10.  Please share the history of close[d] Communion

Soli Deo gloria
Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran
2950 Highway 55
Eagan, MN 55121