I recently found out that after 6 1/2 years of offering Holy Communion every Sunday with the Chalice, one of my former congregations has voted to restore the older practice, which was Communion on the 1st and 3rd Sundays, and using individual cups again. What a shame. Nothing can be done, of course, since I have been entrusted with a different congregation. But it is almost enough to make a grown man weep. Luther’s words in his lectures on Galatians hit home this week when I came across them:
Here you should learn that pious preachers have this lot in life. In addition to the persecution that they have to endure from the wicked and ungrateful world and the hard labor that they experience in planting churches, they are forced to see the quick overthrow of what they had taught for so long in its purity, at the hands of the fanatics, who thereupon lord itover them and get the upper hand. This causes more anguish for godly ministers than any persecution by tyrants. Therefore let anyone who is reluctant to bear such contempt and reproach not become a minister of the Gospel; or if he is one, let him turn over his ministry to someone else. As you see, we today are despised and troubled–outwardly by tyrants, inwardly by those whom we have liberated with the Gospel, as well as by false brethren. But this is our comfort and glory: being called by God, we have a promise of eternal life, and we look for that reward which “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived” (1 Cor. 2:9). For when Christ, the chief Shepherd, is manifested we shall obtain the unfading crown of glory (1 Peter 5:4); and even in this world He will not let us starve.