For the past two months, in this space we’ve been meditating on one of the most important rituals in our life together as a Body: the Lord’s Supper. We’ve been reminded that it calls us to a new, other-worldly Story, and we’ve considered what our thought habits ought to be as we come to the Table.
In this last column on the Supper, I’d simply like to end with a hymn. The well-thought out, concisely and memorably packed, and theologically rich words of our hymnody are some of our greatest treasures. While there are too many to learn to sing, we’d do well to meditate often on their poetry.
In the 19th century the Scottish theologian Horatius Bonar crafted such words that express the riches of a meal reserved for the gathering of God’s people on the Lord’s Day and the weekly sustaining grace it imparts. May this stir your heart to greater wonder and appreciation for the gift of the Table of the Lord.
Here, O my Lord, I see Thee face to face;
here would I touch and handle things unseen,
here grasp with firmer hand the eternal grace,
and all my weariness upon Thee lean.
Here would I feed upon the bread of God,
here drink with Thee the royal wine of heaven;
here would I lay aside each earthly load,
here taste afresh the calm of sin forgiven.
This is the hour of banquet and of song;
this is the heavenly table spread for me;
here let me feast, and feasting still prolong,
the brief, bright hour of fellowship with Thee.
Too soon we rise; the symbols disappear;
the feast, though not the love, is past and gone;
the bread and wine remove, but Thou art here,
nearer than ever; still my Shield and Sun.
I have no help but Thine; nor do I need
another arm save Thine to lean upon;
it is enough, my Lord, enough indeed;
my strength is in Thy might, Thy might alone.
Mine is the sin, but Thine the righteousness;
mine is the guilt, but Thine the cleansing blood;
here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace,
Thy blood, Thy righteousness, O Lord my God.
Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,
yet passing, points to the glad feast above,
giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,
the Lamb’s great bridal feast of bliss and love.
~ Horatius Bonar