Come to the Table 14

The Lord’s Supper was never conceived in the early Church, as it came to be by some in later times, as a solemn wake held in sad remembrance of One who died. From the beginning it was a meal of fellowship, dominated by thanksgiving offered in praise, wonder, and adoration of the Lord of life who had broken the bonds of death and was alive for evermore, really and eternally present with His people.

—William D. Maxwell, Concerning Worship, 14

The Basis of Our Joy

From the Heidelberg Catechism (1563):

QUESTION ONE:
What is your only comfort in life and in death?
ANSWER:That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven; in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to work for him.

QUESTION TWO:
What must you know to live and die in the joy of this comfort?
ANSWER:
Three things: first, how great my sin and misery are; second, how I am set free from all my sins and misery; third, how I am to thank God for such a deliverance.

The Chief End of Man

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.

Westminster Shorter Catechism

“The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.”

–John Piper, God’s Passion for His Glory, 80

“Live while you live,” the epicure would say,
“And seize the pleasures of the present day.”
“Live while you live,” the faithful preacher cries,
“And give to God each moment as it flies.”
Lord, in my view, let each united be:
I live in pleasure while I live for Thee.

–Philip Doddridge