Susan Arnold has an interesting post from John Howard Yoder's book, Body Politics: Five Practices of the Christian Community Before the Watching World (and a good review of its contents along with her thoughts). After posting on living out the truth of our baptism yesterday, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at this today.
The Church's view of Eucharist/communion/the Lord's Table has, like much of our understanding of the gospels and Scripture, been affected by worldviews and philosophy (not to say there exists an objective reading of Scripture, for all reading is inherently subjective). Medieval thinking (as N.T. Wright points out as well) (arguably, I say) impacted the Church's view of Eucharist. And reformations of it either still held on to a significant part of it (like the private, individual affair going on between the individual and God in what happens at "communion"), or were in part, reactionary, so as to lose some of the good that did exist before in Church practice.
I like what Yoder is getting at and how he sought to recover what I think is a good and proper Scriptural view of the sacramental aspect of communion. I especially like his emphasis on the truth that we're to be doing this together. We see this clearly from the start when Jesus had the last supper with his disciples and told them to do this in remembrance of him. They were eating together. This was practiced clearly as a meal in the early church. We see it was abused at Corinth, but it surely was not to be abandoned as meal, as the church has done.
It is something we do together, a communion (koinonia; 1 Corinthians 10:16), participation and sharing in the blood and body of Christ. We are in this together and together we're one body (1 Corinthians 10:17).
As Susan points out, we need to make communion something we do, not only in the same room but together. And a meal would be especially good, being more in accord with Scripture and facilitating the communion that God wants his people to experience with each other in Christ.
In and from that we live as Christ's Body in the world, each one doing their part as one in Christ to bring his redemptive work of love that has made us one in him, to a world in need of him and of this love.
I barely touch on this. From Susan's posts or from here, what thoughts come to mind that you'd like to share with us? Or questions and other perspectives?