Church Props

Kevin DeYoung’s latest book The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism (Moody, 2010) is good—real good. Kevin triggers the megaphone and provides us with a nice guided tour through the scenic Heidelberg Catechism. In the following quote Kevin speaks about the God’s appointed visual aids in the church and especially the importance of the Lord’s Supper. This is from page 138:

Too many churches overlook God’s preferred visual aids—the sacraments—and jump right to video, drama, and props to get people’s attention. We are making a big mistake when we think these “signs and seals” will be anywhere as effective as the ones instituted by Christ Himself. Pastors who don’t explain the sacraments and very rarely administer them are robbing their people of tremendous encouragement in their Christian walk. We can hear the gospel every Sunday, and eat it too.

Of course, this eating and drinking must be undertaken in faith. The elements themselves do not save us. But when we eat and drink them in faith, we can be assured that we receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life. More than that, we get a picture of our union with Christ. As we eat His flesh and drink His blood, we literally have communion with Him, not by dragging Christ down from heaven but by experiencing His presence through His Spirit. Shame on parishioners for coming to the Lord’s Supper with nothing but drudgery and low expectations. And shame on pastors for not instructing their people in the gospel joy available to us in Communion.