Lord's Day Liturgy

Distributed Glory

Paul contrasted the “letter” and the “Spirit” a number of times in his letters. The letter represented the law, an external standard, and the Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity, not subjective but still working in subjects, in persons, internally. The Spirit works among us as we worship and in us even as we come to the Lord’s Table.

After saying that the letter kills but the Spirit gives life, Paul continued the contrast.

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, must more will what is permanent have glory. (2 Corinthians 3:7-11)

Too many times the Lord’s Supper is observed as if it belonged with the ministry of condemnation. Rather than signs of righteousness given, shared, and received by faith, the bread and wine are offered as signs of righteousness demanded. You probably should feel worse about yourself than you do.

God does demand righteousness, but the bread and the wine remind us of the Son He sent to fulfill all righteousness for us, the unrighteous and the self-righteous. This is a Table of greater glory, of permanent glory, and of distributed glory. This is good news! Let believers in Jesus come to the feast.