Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Preparing for Eucharist


John Mark Hicks, Come to the Table: Revisioning the Lord’s Supper , explores themes of the Eucharist in such a fresh manner.
The Table of the Lord should be inclusive. The Table should transcend all cultural, ethnic and gender boundaries.
We sit with Christ and it is Christ who invites. We don’t do the inviting. It is his Table, not ours.
At this Table the Church visibly demonstrates and testifies to the universal inclusiveness of the gospel and of our Lord.
At the Table, the Church is One Body.
The Oneness is not tolerance but love and service to one another in Christ.
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posted July 11, 2010 at 8:04 am

I never have understood why the Catholic church and Orthodox church display such Christian disunity around the Lord’s Table. I know they have their reasons, yada, yada – but please allow that others are believeers even if not a member of a Catholic or Orthodox church. One of the more shaming experiences as a Christian was when, with a group of Catholics (in a Catholic worker house setting) while the bread and wine were being served, they passed right by me because they knew I was not a Catholic.
Capcha: 1002 errand

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posted July 11, 2010 at 8:54 am

The Oneness is not tolerance but love and service to one another in Christ.”
I appreciate this comment. Tolerance is merely putting up with one another, whereas love and service transcends differences and focuses on Christ.

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posted July 11, 2010 at 11:20 am

I tend to agree, although I have studied the theology of it and understand their position. I just don’t agree.
However, it’s not just those churches. Every church that claims the Lord’s Supper is only for those who call themselves “saved” make exclusions through community language use. Every church that claims it is only for those who are Baptized make exclusions through community theological understanding. Every church that claims it is only for those “right with their brother” or “right with God” make exclusions through community agreement over what is sin.
As an aside, I find the affirmation of the “consequences” in 1 Cor 11 of taking the elements from a “wrong place” as being illogical when the churches that highlight that tend also NOT to believe any special grace is granted to those who partake from the “right place.”
My point is only to affirm the inclusiveness of the table. If we believe that the Lord’s Supper is the mandate by Christ to experience Him and His sacrifice for us in the most intimate way possible (He did say “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.?) why on Earth would anybody who desires to see God’s name praised ever tell a person who (knowing what the community knows…even if they haven’t publicly professed it or given evidence) ever want to deny that person such grace?
I look forward to reading this book.

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posted July 11, 2010 at 11:31 am

Dan (#3),
However, in the Protestant churches I have been to they pretty much respect each person’s decision on whether or not to take the Lord’s Supper. They do not intentionally pass the elements by a person who is not a Catholic, as was done in my situation.
captcha: the cardigan

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Wolf Paul

posted July 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm

So how inclusive should it be?
Should it include those who deny that Jesus is the only way to the Father?
Should it include those who teach other errors?
What does Paul mean when he speaks of those who eat unworthily?
Those whom Paul says not to eat with, should they be welcome at the table?

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Scot McKnight

posted July 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Wolf, since I’ve published a page or so on this issue, I’ll state my view. I believe the Table should be open for anyone who perceives grace present at the Table. I’ve never been comfortable with the “unworthily” meaning “in clear, clean fellowship of conscience” or “local church member.” By and large I think Paul saw the Table as sacred and that its sacredness was to be respected and honored by anyone who partook.

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posted July 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Wolf (5),
I think we should be as inclusive as Jesus was, welcoming all who desired to come to his table. Jesus didn’t say, “You can’t come because you teach others errors; or you can come if you are a member of the Catholic or Orthodox church” or …. He said, COME!

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posted July 12, 2010 at 6:41 am

What do people think should be done wrt denominations that only (or almost only) allow their own members to partitake in communion. Sometimes if my wife is ill or if the weather is bad I walk down to the nearby RC church. Often the music and preaching are fine but I find it offensive to be excluded from the table. When an RC visits other churches should they be encouraged to participate or not? I suspect many/most would not participate in any case but what should our attitude be.

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