July 21 – LD 29, Day 6: Worshiping Christ in Heaven and Not on Earth
Sunday the 21st of July
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
Read: Colossians 3:1-11.
The church of Rome believes that in the Lord’s Supper, the bread and wine are changed into the literal body and blood of Christ. Because of this imagination, it is the practice of the church of Rome to worship Christ in the elements. When a person comes to the communion rail and receives the wafer from the hands of the Roman Catholic priest, he or she is taught to bow before the consecrated wafer. Wherever the remains of the consecrated elements of the mass are kept in the church, the members of the church are taught to bow in worship. There have been times in church history when the transubstantiated elements of the Lord’s Supper have been paraded through the streets and Roman Catholic devotees lining the streets have bowed before them in adoration. There were also times when the consecrated elements were kept under glass some where in the church and people came to worship before them.
There are statements in the decrees of the council of Trent that emphatically declare that the consecrated elements of the Lord’s Supper are supposed to be worthy of the same honor and worship as Christ Jesus Himself.
The Reformed Church declares the practices of the church of Rome to be accursed idolatry. Idolatry is giving honor to someone or something other than God. The honor of worship is only due to God. It is idolatry to worship the elements of the Lord’s Supper for they are in fact ordinary bread and wine and they are in no sense God or Jesus.
Christ Jesus is now not bodily on earth. The church of Rome is wrong in its teaching on the Lord’s Supper to insist that Christ’s literal body and blood are present in the consecrated elements of the Lord’s Supper and there to be worshipped.
We know from God’s Word that Christ is now in heaven. He is there as the glorified Lord sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high, even God the Father.
When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we do not worship the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper, nor do we have any superstitious regard for them. They are but ordinary bread and wine. They have no power in themselves to bless.
Rather, when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we lift up our hearts through His Spirit in our hearts. We lift up our hearts to worship Christ who is now enthroned in glory in heaven. He alone is worthy of our worship. He appears now in heaven as the Lamb of God who by His sacrifice atoned for all of our sins. We worship and adore Him, giving Him all the thanks of all our hearts for His loving sacrifice and perfect obedience whereby we have the forgiveness of sins and righteousness and eternal life. We look by faith to Christ as He is now in heaven as the source and fountain of all the blessings of salvation. No one else, nothing else beside the blessed Triune God is worthy of worship. Jesus along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, is worthy of our worship because He is the Son of God in our human nature.
Think about these great truths every time you celebrate the Lord’s Supper!