Calvin’s Theology of Christ’s Presence in the Lord’s Supper

Here is an excellent article on John Calvin’s theology of the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper and its history in the Reformed churches.

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Gregory of Nazianzus on the Paradoxes of Jesus’ Salvation

Gregory of Nazianzus, also known as Gregory the Theologian, was a 4th-century bishop of Nazianzus and, briefly, Constantinople.  Here is an excerpt from his famous Third Theological Oration, in which he explains the paradoxes of Jesus’ salvation of the world in his death and resurrection:

He is sold, and very cheap, for it is only for thirty pieces of silver; but he redeems the world, and that at a great price, for the price of his own blood. As a sheep he is led to the slaughter, but he is the shepherd of Israel, and now of the whole world also. As a lamb he is silent, yet he is the Word, and is proclaimed by the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He is bruised and wounded, but he heals every disease and infirmity. He is lifted up and nailed to the tree, but by the tree of life he restores us; yea, he saves even the robber crucified with him; yea, he wrapped the visible world in darkness. He is given vinegar to drink mingled with gall. Who? He who turned the water into wine, who is the destroyer of the bitter taste, who is sweetness and altogether desired. He lays down his life, but he has power to take it again; and the veil is rent, for the mysterious doors of heaven are opened; the rocks are cleft, the dead arise. He dies, but he gives life, and by his death destroys death.

Who Is the One We Love the Most?

This text by Lutheran hymn writer Jaroslav Vajda is a marvelous exposition of Martin Luther’s description of the meaning of the First Commandment in his Small Catechism:
“‘You shall have no other gods.’  What does this mean?
Answer:  We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.”

Who Is the One We Love the Most

Who is the one we love the most,
the one who has our total trust?
Something or someone is our God,
whose will is willingly obeyed,
to whom we give the years we live.
Let that be you, our God, our Lord!

Count every heartbeat, every breath,
trace every step from birth to death,
track every second to its source,
each drop of blood, each blade of grass,
the rising sun, and every one.
Let that be you, our God, our Lord!

Preserve us from all other gods,
all damned, deceitful, loveless frauds.
Compare them ruthlessly to you,
the only One, eternal true
Creator of all life and love.
You are that One, our God, our Lord!

A love no other god has shown,
your Son upon a cross makes known.
How shall we worship such a God
with more than words and passing nod,
if not with whole heart, mind, and soul,
like yours for us, our God, our Lord?!

You can find a choral setting by Carl Schalk here, which the Chancel Choir of Central Presbyterian Church in St. Louis will sing on March 15, 2015.