Lectionary 26 C

Even more citations from Paul's letter to Timothy! Sorry if you're preaching on one of the other readings. This really is a hit and miss exercise.

1 Timothy 6:6-19

Verse 8 is quoted in a footnote to The Large Catechism, The Lord's Prayer, The Fourth Petition (LC 3.73, n. 176) explaining noting that Luther translated this verse differently before and after 1541. The translation of "food and clothing" here reflects Luther's later translation.

Verse 15 is partly quoted in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 7: Holy Supper (SD 7.99) within a lengthy excerpt from Luther's Confession concerning Christ's Supper. Luther's unpacking of the sacrament of communion in this missive uses the argument that Jesus has (at least) three modes of being: corporeal, spiritual, and heavenly. Verse 15 is for Luther an example of Jesus' corporeal mode when he returns to judge the living and the dead. After Luther's death, this approach was used to explain the Germanic Lutheran reformers' understanding of Jesus being spiritually present in communion--which is a real presence, just not the corporeal presence.


We don't spend much time talking about different understandings of what God is up to in communion. I readily concede that there are more important practical issues facing us, but it probably eases some consciouses to know that various expressions of the Church have given significant thought to what's going on when we are gathered around the Lord's table. What I fear we lose when we stop talking about these different understandings of communion is how they impact our understanding of God's presence in other people.

  • Does the practice of celebrating communion transform us, help us remember, focus us on the common presence of the divine, or something else?
  • How does communion create opportunities for us to hear again the calls from Moses and prophets to pay attention to those just outside of our doors?