Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Eucharist

Here are some brief thoughts on the Eucharist that perhaps will help guide your own reflection, and our conversations in the future. Perhaps a starting place is to ask, "What does the Eucharist mean to you? What does it do for you? AND What does it mean to a community? What does it do for that community?" I recognize we may all answer this differently, so let me off my thoughts on these questions.

Let me start with an underlying assumption. I believe that our lives are both beautiful and broken, and God in Christ is somehow intimately woven into all of that. Now since I believe that to be true, the ONLY way (at least these days) I have figured out how to justify it is through the Eucharist. I also believe our faith is incarnational - that is to say - that Christ's life, death, and resurrection isn't necessarily a one time deal. This is something that happens at the remembrance of our baptism, in the Eucharist, and we can probably make the argument when we gather in community to hear the Word.

It is fine for churches, emergent or otherwise, to talk about how life is tough and its glorious at the same time. Its fine for these churches to wrestle with the paradoxes of our faith and life. BUT, without a sacramental theology, a recognition that Christ's presence is TRULY there, what comfort do people have? Well, let me give an example:

A campus ministry at a large university in Ohio, an emergent ministry by all definitions, has no public statement on communion. On their website the closest to a statement on Jesus and His real presence is this: "Sometimes following Jesus can be very uncomfortable, and that's cool." Where's the comfort? Is it comforting to know that it's "cool?" This is an extreme, I realize that, but it is the point I am making. In order for a church to proclaim the paradoxes of life, and then to have a leg to stand on when trying to explain the presence of Christ, an understanding of the Eucharist is needed.

Well, some thoughts. I look forward to our conversations.

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