Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Missional Jesus 56

We come to the last week of this lengthy series on missional Jesus, which was begun for one reason: because I wanted to sort out for my own thinking what a full sweep of the Gospels would reveal if we kept asking “What was missional Jesus’ mission?” (Our next series will be on Colossians and I will be reading this commentary: Colossians Remixed.). Missional thinking at times finds what it is looking for because it doesn’t look at the full sweep. Which is perhaps no more obvious than in our text for today:
Rarely, at least in my reading, is the eucharist (Matthew 26:26-29) found in the “missional” conversation. It should be.
1. Missional Jesus, the Jesus who did and said all these other missional things, at his last supper with his followers instructed his missional followers to unite themselves around a meal. A special meal.
2. Missional Jesus said that when the “ingested” this meal — of bread and wine — they were ingesting him at some level.
3. Missional Jesus reveals that the meal he leaves for his followers is a dynamic, physical, embodied participation in who he is and what he has done.
4. Missional Jesus makes his death the center of his missional work.
5. Missional Jesus’ death is new covenant thinking, forgiveness-shaped, and kingdom-anticipating.
Which is to say, missional theology is atonement theology.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
27 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

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posted September 10, 2007 at 7:01 am

What is the reference for this passage? I know, I could look it up – but usually it is given.
This is an important part of the whole – leave out the eucharist and its message and missional Christianity loses its impact. I becomes just another human endeavor.

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Scot McKnight

posted September 10, 2007 at 8:08 am

Sorry, RJS, I briefly remembered last night that I had forgotten to include the reference (Matt 26:26-29) and forgot to put it in. I added it. Thanks.

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posted September 10, 2007 at 8:30 am

Scot, thanks for emphasising the atonement in the emerging. I’m glad to see a renewed focus on helping people in this world, but too often it comes at the expense of helping them in the next.

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Tom Grosh IV

posted September 10, 2007 at 8:46 am

Colossians Remixed . . . quite a text. I’ve heard quite a spectrum of responses to it. Looking forward to the conversation.

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Julie Clawson

posted September 10, 2007 at 9:46 am

It will be fun to hear your thoughts on Colossians Remixed. it has to be one of my favorite books ever.

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John W Frye

posted September 10, 2007 at 9:52 am

Like so much that gets reduced with a reduced gospel, the eucharist gets flattened out, too. What if you did a series on the eucharist from a robust, emerging theological perspective?
I, too, will enjoy your tour through *Colossians Remixed.* I met the authors at a seminar at Mars Hill here in GR. They did quite a fascinating and creative teaching by role-playing a meeting of the church in the 1st century.

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posted September 10, 2007 at 6:07 pm

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Colossians Remixed…I enjoyed the content of the book quite a lot.

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tim atwater

posted September 11, 2007 at 10:16 am

thanks for this whole series — all of which could be remixed again and again and we’d keep seeing and hearing more…
thanks for including the Lord’s Supper — (i think this is one of the least bloggable of all subjects–but if it gets us to reflect even a little — great!)
In John’s remix the eucharist seems to be there any meal Jesus is at — emphasis on recognizing his presence more than the specific words of institution or even the menu —
In Methodist tradition, with Wesley, we name eucharist as open to all specifically because it is meant to be evangelical — we believe folks are converted in the eating and drinking of Christ.
thanks again for all the series.
oh and i just finished Colossians Remixed last week (and much of Robt Wall’s IVP commentary, which i got for a dollar at a library yard sale….) struggling to preach on Philemon in its once every three years lectionary placement. Looking forward to that discussion too.

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posted September 11, 2007 at 1:55 pm

LOVE to preach Philemon…hope you find some inspiration 8)
I would love to have some more robust thought about the eucharist…something that takes it out of the “motions” and an emphasis on self as worthy/unworthy and returned it to the “thanksgiving” part of embracing this amazing new covenant “sacrificial meal” worship.
Missional Jesus has been wonderful. Thanks for seeing your project through–faithfulness is the key to covenant :)

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tim atwater

posted September 12, 2007 at 11:09 am

thanks–i preached it last sunday — as a letter back to Paul from Philemon — “thanks for the best letter i ever got…” –more imaginative than i usually go — doubtless inspired by the targums in Colossians Remixed.

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