tag : bright yellow-green apples: the power of bread and wine

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Friday, July 16, 2004

the power of bread and wine

I caught myself listening to the sunday service broadcast on Radio 4 a few weeks ago, which is a rare occurence now that I find it too fuzzy and insubstantial to keep my attention. But one part did strike me as familar, and sure enough I found the extract in a favourite book of mine (the very excellent "the Liturgical Movement and Methodism" by Raymond Billington) the other night which flags similar thoughts in the slightly stuffy language ofthe 60's:
"...it is not too bold a thought to describe Christ himself as the one sacrament, from whom all the other sacraments take thier validity and efficacy. He became flesh, and ministered to men, and died and rose again in order to reveal, at one point in time and in one place, what could be true everywhere and allways but which faithless man would - or could – never accept short of seeing it for himself. The demand of Thomas to see and feel the wounds of Christ is not so unreasonable: and in the eucharist his wish - and that of all those who feel like him - can be fulfilled."
Most of us are Thomas, we need the tangible in order to find the divine in our lives. And I doubt there are many more powerful means of encounter with Christ than materials - in this case the most acessible of all, food and drink, that catches senses with anticipation and fulfillment. The table of Christ represented by communion has so much potential, yet unrealised, for helping people to encounter God where words focus and philosophical argument, still in vogue for much of the Church's missionary focus, will be dry and limited. Just being there.
These thoughts coincided nicely with someone asking why it was that I cared so much about sacraments. More to be found here.


Blogger Ruthie said...

Laurence - this is amazing. I've finally found something I don't share your perspective on. Its been a long time since that's happened...remember the old interfaith debates :D

Anyway...here's what I think

2:00 PM  

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