There are times that I unceremoniously snicker at the titles of Lutheran hymns. One of my favorites is “My Lord, What a morning” which I always thought would pair well with other classic “bad day” songs like “Sunday Morning Coming Down” by Kris Kristofferson, “Manic Monday” by the Bangles, or “My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink,” by Jimmy Buffett. (Just as an FYI, “My Lord, What A Morning” is a very positive and joyful song about how great it will be on the morning of the Resurrection.)
There’s another hymn that has a title that might raise some eyebrows too: ‘What is this bread?”. I mean, when you’re handed the little disc of wheat at communion, you too may ask, “What is this? bread?” Yes, but it’s much more.
This past Sunday we confessed the following about the Sacrament of the Altar:
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.”
We believe that this bread is more than bread, that the wine we drink is more than wine – it is a participation in Christ, it is the forgiveness of sins, it is His Body, it is His Blood. It is something that reforms our hearts. What is this bread? It is Reformation. What is this wine? It is Reformation.
This Sunday we are starting off the last sermon series of our “What does this mean?” Annual Focus year. This last series will stretch from next Sunday, to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, and through the end of the Church Year (Nov 26). The series will be called “Hearts Reformed” because it will be about how the spirit of the Reformation is about God giving us new hearts through the work of the Gospel. Join us as we celebrate the opening of the 500th year of God reforming hearts through this movement of His Church that tries, above all else, to keep clear the things that need to be kept clear — except for hymn titles sometimes. 😉