The Eucharist and Kingdom of God
I have been writing about the meaning of The Eucharist over the past year. Trying to find out for myself what this old Christian ritual means and how it can be impactful for our modern Christian life. Once a month, usually the first sunday of the month my church celebrates and remembers this practice. Each Christian church has through the years taken part in this meal sharing. Some churches do it differently or emphasize different aspects of this practice. It can take on different meanings. I have tried through my reflections to concentrate on a few of them. I have tried to both flesh out and personalize these differing meanings. Each believer can see it differently. I hope my reflections I have helped and maybe caused you to wrestle with your own take on this practice. The important thing is not how we see it, but that we come together in meal sharing to remember what Jesus did and still does.
Jesus took the bread, broke it, blessed it and gave it.
So, this month I want to look at the Eucharist as a symbol or sign of the Kingdom of God among us. I think we can see it was a small signpost of what The Kingdom of God should and does look like.
The past couple of weeks I have also been reflecting on the five solas. Right now, I would like to review them quickly.
By Jesus Alone: Our life, salvation, and growth are centered and dependent on Jesus, only Jesus. Jesus is it. Once we have Jesus, once we have accepted what Jesus did for us, to free us of religion and all other chains that keep us from living fully and loving radically and wastefully. Jesus died for us, so that we may live for him and his Kingdom.
By Grace Alone: Salvation is an unearned gift from God through Jesus; God acts alone to save the sinner. The responsibility for salvation does not rest to any degree on our actions or belief, but comes from God freely through Jesus. Jesus died on the cross to reconcile all of creation to God and in the resurrection God showed his love for all and the promise that death is not the end of the story that God will save all. Even though salvation through grace is a free gift, we must accept the gift in order to be transformed in and through it. God gives, we respond.
By Scripture Alone: Just pick up the bible and read. Don’t worry about reading it the right way or coming away with an orthodox belief. Before you pick up the bible to seriously read and study it, ask yourself if you are ready to be changed, to come face to face with God, Jesus, the apostles, prophets, and the kingdom of God. It will not leave you unscathed. It will transform and unsettle you. It will comfort and disturb, sometimes at the same time. Life will not be the same. Mine is not. Yours will not be either.
By Faith Alone: Nothing we could ever do will earn us salvation. Jesus did that for all on the cross. We are not saved by our good, but by the goodness of Jesus. Jesus forsook heaven because he loved us so. It is not the intention of God that any should perish. We are saved to do good. Accepting the love and grace of God and committing to the way of Jesus should compel us to extend and point to the very same for others.
All For The Glory of God: Everything we do, everything from taking out the trash, to holding the door open, to hanging out with a friend, parenting our children, looking for our life partner, teaching a class, browsing on Facebook should be done to the glory of God. How we live our lives on a day-to-day basis. How we behave on the job, at school, and what we do with our free time should all be done to the glory of God. We can and should worship God with our whole lives not just on Sunday mornings in a building designed for that purpose.
Ok, so what! What does that all mean.
It boils down to this: God did and does it all. Without God we are screwed. God saw the mess man was in and sent Jesus to teach us how to be human and then to die a brutal and undeserved death to reconicile all of creation back to God. Through Jesus and by grace we are blessed with the faith to worship and glorify God with our very lives. Scripture tells the story of how God made all, everything good pointing us in a right direction and foreshaowing how it will all end. The bible gives God’s story and will for man. These five soals tells us in shorthand what it means to be the Kingdom of God.
The Eucharist can and should be seen as a symbol of what it looks like to put flesh on the Kingdom of God. Meal sharing is the deepest and truest since of what it means to live fully, love radically, and share wastefully. When we invite all who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior to come to the table than we are taking part in radical meal sharing and table fellowship. We will need a much bigger table and deeper hearts. We will surprised how meaningful and transformative this old practice can be. We may even be shocked at who will come to share and fellowship with us when we center it on Jesus and His kingdom.
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