Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cheap Beer and Weekly Communion

"The aluminum pint from Miller has a wide mouth, a resealable cap and four more ounces of that great pilsner taste you love. And when you love something, you want more, not less. Nobody wants less bang for their buck. Less power to you, good, more for me. The less the merrier, maybe if you life in loser town. Say no less, I mean it, stop saying less. So why settle for less when you can have more? The Aluminum Pint from Miller. Tastes Greatness. Miller Brewing Company, Milwaukee, WI. Great Beer, Great Responsibility."

No, I'm not being paid by Miller. And for the record, the only good thing about Miller happens to be their occasionally-clever, but not always funny commercials. All Monty Python jokes about American beer aside, the content of this particular radio commercial is great, unlike the water their trying to pass off as beer.

Why is this commercial so great? Trust me, it's not about that great pilsner taste. And it's not about some new seeker-sensitive outreach model trying to fist pump the Gospel into local frat-houses by means of Miller-vangelism. Let the reader understand, good beer and Lutheran theology are as inseparable as Eutychian Christology of the two natures of Christ (and if you didn't have to look that up you are a nerd). But seriously, the Reformation would be nowhere without the soothing flow of hops down Luther's esophagus and the flow of 200 proof theology God proclaimed through his lips from the classroom to the bar (remember the White Horse Inn).

And now for something completely different; this post really isn't about the beer. It's all about some thoughts concerning weekly communion using, yes as ironic as it may seem, a commercial for cheap, some might even say unholy, beer.

I've been reading Kenneth Wieting's discourse on this topic (weekly communion that is) entitled, The Blessings of Weekly Communion. It's a great book, but this is not a book review, just a few thoughts on weekly communion after hearing this radio commercial.

"When you love something you want more, not less." Amen! Our old sinful nature seeks the love of all good things in God's green earth by twisting turning and navel-gazing every good gift from our heavenly Father into an idol. You see our old sinful nature always wants more - more sin, more me, more death. And if we then, who are evil according to our sinful nature recognize that more is better, how much greater then, will our new nature (baptized and forgiven and sanctified in Christ Crucified) rejoice in loving and receiving and wanting more of our Lord's good gifts. And how much greater still does our Lord Jesus Christ delight in dishing out His gifts in the Lord's Supper.

Welcome to the table of the Lord; it's the best restaurant in town with the best menu bar none. Here at the Lord's Table Jesus Christ is Himself the cook, waiter host and meal. He's the appetizer and the main course.

Weekly communion is all about more Jesus for you. More body and blood given and shed for you. More heavenly gifts here on earth for you. More forgiveness, life and salvation for you not in a wide-mouth-cheap-made-in-China-aluminum can, but in a Chalice that floweth over with Christ's Crucified, Risen and Ascended blood. And there is more than anyone can imagine. We need not fret about taking this gift for granted or fear that it may become too common. Because if you love something you want more, not less. And Jesus wants more sinners, not less to receive His body and blood given and shed for them. Therefore, we sing, louder than any bar-song:

I come, O Savior, to Thy table, for weak and weary is my soul; Thou, Bread of Life, alone art able to satisfy and make me whole: Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood be for my soul the highest hood. (LSB 618:1)

This precious chalice from our Lord Jesus Christ has a wide mouth, and an unlimited cask of that great blooded-for-you forgiveness you need and love. And when you love something you want more, not less. Nobody wants less Jesus and more sin. Less Jesus for you is good more no one. The less the merrier, maybe if you live in Phariseeville. Say no less, I mean it; stop saying less. So why settle for less Jesus when you can have more and more and more of His all-availing medicine of immortality every Sunday? Welcome to the Table of the Lord. Taste forgiveness. Brought to you by our Lord Jesus Christ and His gifts given in The Divine Service, AnyLutheran Church, Anytownville, America. Great chalice. Great forgiveness.

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