Eucharist

Lesson 9: Eucharist as Ritual

Lesson 9: Eucharist as Ritual

The most important challenge for a Eucharist liturgy is to express a community meal rather than an institutional ritual. The Church has not always done a very good job with this one. Too often, the service is regarded as fulfilling requirements that enforce the authority of the institution. Only those commissioned by the authorities are […]

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Lesson 8: Eucharist as Thanksgiving

Lesson 8: Eucharist as Thanksgiving

The official title of the communion meal is the Eucharist, a Greek word meaning thanksgiving. By examining how this title applies we can learn a lot about the sacrament. First, thanksgiving is given a prominent place in the official account of the last supper in I Corinthians 11. That account is the basis of the […]

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Lesson 7: Eucharist as Remembering

Lesson 7: Eucharist as Remembering

In our technological society, we forget how important remembering the past is for keeping our balance in life. Faith, hope, and love have always been used to summarize how Christians make decisions. Faith primarily is trust in the story that begins far back in history. Hope is the promise God makes in that story. Together, […]

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Lesson 6: Eucharist as Eating Together

Lesson 6: Eucharist as Eating Together

The sacraments taken together express the fullness of the Christian life. Baptism welcomes us into the community that shares meals with each other and God. Although this might appear to be nothing extraordinary to an outside observer, the Church proclaims it the primary means by which her resurrected Lord is present among them. Just as […]

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Lesson 10: Early Christian Meals

Lesson 10: Early Christian Meals

In the last lesson, I suggested conversing over fine food and drink might be the best way to promote friendship in our day. In this one, I’d like to support the thought by showing how important this is for Christianity. Meals played a major role in the Old Testament. There was Abraham and Sarah offering […]

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Lesson 9: Promoting Friendship

Lesson 9: Promoting Friendship

So how can we promote the important elements of traditional friendship? We obviously cannot force people to enlarge their circle of friends by preaching at them. Robert Putnam, famous for his book Bowling Alone, felt the answer was to develop new forms of volunteer organizations that would pull people away from their televisions and out […]

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Lesson 8: I Am the Bread of Life

Lesson 8: I Am the Bread of Life

John 6 is built around Jesus’ proclamation, “I am the Bread of Life,” John’s working of the Feeding of the Multitude. His presentation of the Feeding almost parallels the reports of the other three gospels in which the mighty work appears five times. It is obviously very important to the early Church; yet all the […]

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God Eats With His People: Proper 13

God Eats With His People: Proper 13

For several years my parish trained first year field workers for the seminary. They usually sent us their most difficult students. One of those was Heikki Ausiku, a pastor from Namibia. You might remember South Africa controlled this Lutheran nation, forcing apartheid on its population. Heikki was sent to the seminary to learn English, so […]

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