Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and after blessing it, he broke it, gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat, this is my body.” Then he took a cup and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
The titles of the three hymns in Glory to God may not be well-known, but the tune: Beach Spring certainly is. In addition to Loaves Were Broken, Words Were Spoken, we find the baptismal hymn Wash O God, Your Sons and Daughters and the stewardship hymn God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending. The tune is included in the Sacred Harp collection and dates to the mid 1800s. The hymns were designed to be sung in four-part harmony with no accompaniment. Chairs are arranged such that singers are sitting in a square. They look at one another and follow the leader who keeps the rhythm.
The Glory to God commentator notes,
The first two stanzas of this text deal with events in the past (the feeding of the multitude and the Last Supper and the final two with events in the present. The recurring last four lines of each stanza serve as an affirmation of Christ’s continuing presence at all times.
By your body broken for us, by your wine of life out-poured, Jesus feed again your people. Be our Host, our Life, our Lord.
The last time you and I were able to come to the Lord’s Table was Sunday March 1, 2020. This is perhaps the longest amount of time we have marked between celebrations of the Lord’s Supper since I came to First Presbyterian Church in September 1998. John Calvin wanted the church to partake of the sacrament weekly and others at least quarterly. On the average we have had celebrations of the Eucharist eight to ten times a year. Not all celebrations are on Sundays (Maundy Thursday, e.g.) and sometimes the invitation to the table is at night (Service of Wholeness). We want to offer Holy Communion so that people may partake of this spiritual food as often as possible for their growth in the faith.
O God, we are excited as August 30 draws near and we once again can come to Your table. O Jesus feed again Your people. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.