For the Church: Singing Come, Thou Savior, Spread Thy Table

from Jun 18, 2015 Category: Ligonier Resources

Come Thou Savior, Spread Thy Table,” from Glory to the Holy One, is the only song in this collection which includes both words and music by Dr. Sproul. This communion hymn presents a biblically-balanced and robust Reformed perspective on the Lord’s Supper.

The Lord’s Supper is a true meal in which Christ is really present. Christ spreads His table and feeds His sheep the “gift of heaven’s Bread….the feast of Pascal Lamb.” Christ’s real presence was central to John Calvin’s sacramental theology. Dr. Sproul writes, “Calvin thus argued that Christ was really or truly present, spiritually, in the Lord’s Supper, though not in a physical sense” (Essential Truths of the Christian Faith). By the Holy Spirit, we spiritually are raised into Christ’s presence in mystical communion and feed on Christ crucified for our nourishment. “For we, being many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:17).

The Lord’s Supper is a means of grace. This ceremonial meal is much more than a memorial. We are “helpless, starving sheep….unable to drink Thy cup so deep….weak in spirit….with spotted soul and wrinkled gown.” Christ knows our weakness and lovingly gives His beloved this precious gift “to seal His promises in us, to pledge His good will and grace toward us, and also to nourish and sustain our faith” (The Belgic Confession, Article 33).

The Lord’s Supper has a past, present, and future orientation. His “death for us we now recall.” In regularly partaking of this thanksgiving meal, we perpetually remember the sacrificial death of Christ (Luke 22:19), who “keeps our spirits fed” with “food for the Christian pilgrimage” (Herman Bavinck). We are sealed with a pledge that our “Groom will soon appear” and we “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). What a glorious foretaste of the heavenly marriage feast of the Lamb for us who “now long to enter heaven’s gate and e’er with You abide.”

Lyrics:

Come, Thou Savior, spread Thy table
Feed Thy helpless, starving sheep
Give Thy grace to saints unable
To drink Thy cup so deep

For Thy bride is weak in spirit
As her Groom will soon appear
With her spotted soul and wrinkled gown
She trembles to draw near

Refrain

Jesus, Jesus, we adore Thee
Gift of heaven’s Bread
Jesus, Jesus, we adore Thee
Keep our spirits fed

Keep the feast of Paschal Lamb
His presence sure and real
His own death for us we now recall
With sacred sign and seal

We taste Thee now as death doth
Wait to bring us to Your side
We now long to enter heaven’s gate
And e’er with You abide

Refrain

To heaven’s gate our souls fly
To sup with You anew
Now with all saints from our labors rest
To find our peace with You

Refrain

Experience Glory to the Holy One Today

Note: If you buy the CD from Ligonier.org, we will add the digital edition to your learning library for free.

See also:

Randall Van Meggelen is chief musician at Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., and provides direction for the church’s various music ministries. He is a graduate of Covenant College and Concordia University.