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DEVOTION//Jesus' presence in Communion

DEVOTION//Jesus' presence in Communion

George von Anhalt (1507–1553) was a contemporary of Luther. He penned these thoughts about Lord's Supper to confess the Scripture's assurance that Jesus is truly present in that meal.

Lord's Supper is Jesus' gift to us

It was highly necessary to instruct the people that the true worship and honor of Christ and of his Holy Sacrament does not consist in such external gestures or services alone, also that our dear Lord Christ did not institute this venerable Sacrament for the sake of seeing and worshiping or being present there for that purpose, but so that we would partake of it, as the Lord’s words say, “Take, eat; take, drink,” etc. 

These words have power and avail so much as to say, “This is my body; this is my blood; this do in remembrance of me.” … Therefore the Word is most important, through the power of which, from the institution of the Lord, the true body and blood of Christ are there. 

Lord's Supper is a gift to treasure

The Word teaches us what kind of treasure we have there, what we should use it for, and why Christ is there, so that true invocation and spiritual worship are enkindled in us. 

Now, here we are not saying that one should not worship our dear Lord Jesus Christ in this Sacrament, being present, or that one should not hold this Sacrament with all honor and reverence. On the contrary, since these divine, almighty, true words are believed, all of this follows of itself, and not only in external gestures but also both externally and, first and foremost, in the heart, spirit, and truth. 

Lord's Supper is a gift to revere

On account of this, such adoration of Christ is not thereby canceled, but much rather confirmed. For where the Word is rightly seen, considered, and believed, the adoration of the Sacrament will happen of itself. For whoever believes that Christ’s body and blood are there (as there is plenty of evidence so to believe, and it is necessary so to believe), he cannot, to be sure, deny his reverence to the body and blood of Christ without sin. 

I must confess that Christ is there when his body and blood are there. His words do not lie to me, and he is not separate from his body and blood.

 

Source: George von Anhalt on Word and Sacrament. George III, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (Dessau, 15 August 1507 – Dessau, 17 October 1553), was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Dessau.  

He was mainly brought up with his brothers John V and Joachim I by his devout mother. After the death of his father in 1516, he inherited Anhalt-Dessau as a co-ruler with his brothers (at first with their mother serving as regent).  He attended the University of Leipzig, where the theologian Georg Helt of Forchheim became his "highly beloved teacher."  In 1524 he was consecrated as a Roman Catholic priest.

In order to refute Lutheran beliefs, he made a thorough study of the Bible, the Church Fathers, and church history.  Instead of refuting Lutheran beliefs, this study led him to embrace confessional Lutheranism.  From the time of the Diet of Augsburg in 1530 both George and his brothers allied themselves with the Lutherans.

He is remembered for his support of Lutheran doctrine in his powerful sermons On the False Prophets and On the Right Worthy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, which were directed both against Rome and Protestant religious fanatics.