Come Lord Jesus is a pretty simple prayer. I’ve prayed in my family and at meals and in some pretty interesting places around the world hence the song. It is also a prayer from the heart and is pretty important for the life of the church as Hermann Sasse wrote –
Every observant reader of the bible will know of the deep disappointment for the early generations of Christians in that the return of the Lord was delayed. Where is the promise of his coming? Ever since the fathers died, everything has continued as always since the beginning of creation. (2 Peter 3:4). We need to be clear about how earnestly the church asked that question for nearly 2000 years. Where, anywhere else in the world, is there a hope remaining unchanged even though there is no apparent fulfillment when century after century has passed? For nineteen centuries the church has prayed the prayer that belonged to the communion liturgy already at the time of Paul and which is there also at the end of the New Testament. Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus. How has she been able to do that without flagging? She has only been able because it has been fulfilled at each communion – because at each celebration in accordance with his institution Jesus Christ is really PRESENT. Already in the celebrations of the first century the Sanctus was sung the “Holy holy, holy is the Lord” which is the heavenly worship of the cherubim in Isaiah 6. So we read in a letter, which the congregation of Rome wrote to Corinth in the year 96 AD. Let us be attentive as the gathered host of angels stand before him and do his will. For it says in scripture that 10,000 times 10,000 stand by him and 100s by 1000s serve him and cry Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts, all creation is full of his glory. And we also are gathered as one in devotion and want to cry out in unison. These are thoughts similar to those of the revelation of St John. (4:10[, 5:E-14) – namely that in the worship service, and at that time it meant the service with communion, heaven and earth become one as in each communion prayer our fathers prayed: “Your supper be my heaven on earth until I reach heaven.” As the supper bridges the gap between this time and the kingdom of God, so the sacrament also BRIDGES HEAVEN AND EARTH. It is ‘cibus viatorum,’ the pilgrim’s food – the food of those who have no permanent city here, but seek one to come. As Israel found the manna in the desert and the water from the rock so the people of God of the new covenant are taken out of the Egypt of the current time into the Promised Land. From the dreary desert of this world they came to the Lord’s Table. Its really heavenly food, bread from heaven as the bible calls the manna (John 6), and not merely in a figurative sense. Where heaven is there is Christ sitting at the right hand of God. (Colossians 3:1) For the supper is really a heaven on earth until we come to heaven. The presence of Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the altar is a different presence from that which we believe is there where two or three are gathered together in his name. The mystery of the presence the church found in the beginning in the words, which the Lord spoke over the bread and the wine: “This is my body. …This is my blood.” The command to repeat the celebration “in remembrance of me,” nor the promise “till all is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God,” are the real essence of the supper. It is the words concerning the body and blood of the Lord. They are not figurative. The attempt to understand the words and the supper figuratively and the institution of the supper as a dramatic act like that of the prophets in the bible have always led to contradictory explanations.