Down the Hill of Grace
God commands His people to proclaim Christ’s death as they gather around the Lord’s table regularly. However frequently Christians do it, there is the danger that they would fall into the thinking that God is pleased that they’re doing it. Maybe. It depends.
The Lord is not pleased, in fact it is loathsome to Him, if we eat and drink because we think He needs us to. He rebukes those who think that the reenactment or the symbolism itself is powerful. We bring nothing to this table except empty hands and hopefully a hunger for righteousness.
Dependence makes the difference. Eating and drinking because we need to pleases Him. Giving thanks for our justification–depending on His payment of our debt–and trusting Him for our sanctification–crying out for His help and grace for deliverance from sin–pleases Him.
It is a real danger that our liturgy would become loathsome, and it will be loathsome anytime we do it by works and not by grace. But our Lord’s table liturgy is intended to prick our hearts towards more thanks and towards greater trust. Giving thanks leans us forward. Gratitude is like a step down the hill, making it easier to take the second step of trust, which pulls us like gravity down the hill of grace.