Presentation on theme: "What’s happening in communion? Good qs – divided opinion across the Churches and amongst Christians; general agreement on many things >>>"— Presentation transcript:
What’s happening in communion? Good qs – divided opinion across the Churches and amongst Christians; general agreement on many things >>>
Gift of God to his people. Central act of worship in early Church. Communal act. Re-enactment of Last Supper with reference to the cross, its benefits and an anticipation ofthe messianic feast of the age to come. Communion of/sharing in Holy things. Means of grace. Uniting >>>
Because there is one loaf, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. 1 Corinthians 10v17
Orthodox and RCs bar non Orthodox & RCs from their table. Can’t we agree about this event considering we all have the same words to look to >>>
1 Corinthians 10:16, ‘Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks, a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ.’ Words of institution, ‘This is my Body... This is my blood’ >>> But how are we to understand those words? >>>
Issue of interpretation/hermeneutics. All of us come with lenses formed by our experience and by our traditions. Major traditions of interpretation within the Christian family which have come about through trying to understand the Scriptures.
Doctor of the Roman Catholic (RC) Church. Transubstantiation. Aristotle: accidents (outward appearance) & substance (what it is in reality). Words of institution lead to the Transformation from bread and wine To body and blood. Godward focus of communion. Altar of communion higher and more important than pulpit.
German Reformer who challenged RC conceptions about communion. Consubstantiation – both bread and wine and body and blood. This is a Mystery how it occurs – don’t try to explain how, accept it by faith. Table and Pulpit same height – both Proclaim Christ, in both we can feed On Him. HC creates and sustains faith.
German Reformer Bread and wine merely symbolic of body and blood NO REAL PRESENCE. A memorial; a helpful reminder. Is = signifies. ‘This signifies my body’ Pulpit very high; table very low.
French Reformer. Middle ground between Luther & Zwingli. Risen Christ is by faith spiritually communicated to us in communion. Importance of the Holy Spirit in making bread and wine Holy. Table and Pulpit same height.
Manward focus. Not a repetition of Calvary which Scripture declares was an act done ‘once for all’. HC is a memorial of that one sacrifice but it is a rememberance meal for our benefit, not a sacrifice to appease God. Accomodation to our frailty; it is a visible and tangible help to our faith in Christ’s redemptive death, and a means to assure ourselves of His covenant toward us. Accompanied with divine promises. Importance of faith. >> Much of our Anglican liturgy, particularly the Book of Common Prayer was shaped by these views and given its form by Thomas Cranmer. Check out the 39 articles.
Individualism. Problem at Corinth. Not recognising the Body. At its heart it is a uniting sacrament to each other. (Read 1 Corinthians 11:17ff) Not recognising it as hallowed ground. Satanic rituals often target it. Paul rebukes the Corinthian Church for sharing in other faith meals as if equal ground. (1 Corinthians 10:14-22)) See it as only symbolic (Zwinglian view). Late interpretation which goes against Paul; Paul does not explain how it is a participation in Christ, yet clearly states that it is. (1 Corinthians 10:16) Defining the Mystery. A good theological approach is the Anglican one! the via media > spiritual reality; appropriation of the benefits through faith: The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith. Article XXVIII
Prepare yourself – am I in right relation with my fellow Christian? Consciously enter into the drama of salvation of what Christ endured and did for you. A meal of thanksgiving and promise. By faith recognise the risen, crucified Christ and feast on Him. Food for the journey; Healing for body and soul.