Tuesday, 17 April 2012
[This is reposted as part of our Best-Of Revelife Week. It was originally posted on November 29, 2009.]
The Lord's Supper is as much about the real presence of Christians to one another as it is about the real presence of Christ to believers.
...We must also remind each other that the church comes together as a family at the Lord's table, just as the nuclear family comes together at a family meal. The Lord's Supper cultivates and intensifies believers' communion as a family centered around Christ, who is its head. The word of thanksgiving and the breaking of bread accepted in faith confers the same divine quality on all as members of God's family. Jesus is the head of "a community of consumption." In place of consuming humans, Christians become increasingly consumed people through their deepening communion with Christ at the Lord's family feast. Christ consumes them even as they consume him through faith in the Spirit, intensifying their participation in his body in concrete space and time and overcoming the barriers between themselves and others. This dynamic reality of relationship signifies enlightened consumption involving people in communion from different walks of life rather than individuals or affinity groups in their own insularity.
When we dine with Christ, we also commune with his body; for as head of the church, Christ is never apart from his body (Col. 1:18). We should always approach the table mindful of the body of Christ - that is, those gathered with us; it is also important to note that the whole church is gathered together at each assembly, not just part of it (1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 1:1). Christ is united to all believing communities through the Spirit, and together they make up his body. Thus, if Christ is present, the whole church is present in a given location. These theological truths should influence our social etiquette, so that we do not hoard God's bounty to ourselves or in our individual churches.
-- Paul Metzger, Consuming Jesus
(referencing John Howard Yoder and William Cavanaugh)
Do you agree or disagree and why? What thoughts does this conjure in your mind?