What’s really happening in Communion?

As Lutherans, we teach that Jesus is truly present in communion in, with, and under the bread and wine.  I like to call this a ‘prepositional’ understanding of Jesus’ presence.  Luther wanted to leave some space for mystery.  Ironically, no matter how you understand communion, there is plenty of mystery.  Luther attested to the power of the sacrament to forgive sin, and give life and salvation.  From Luther’s Small Catechism: “‘How can eating and drinking do such a great thing?  Eating and drinking certainly do not do it, but rather the words…’given for you’ and ‘shed for you for the forgiveness of sin‘…when accompanied by the physical eating and drinking are…the sacrament…whoever believes these words have what they declare and state, namely, ‘forgiveness of sin.'”