Dion's random ramblings

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The sacrament of Holy Communion as an act of radical protest and subversion!

This morning, as we do at the seminary every Tuesday morning, we celebrated the sacrament of holy communion. Among Methodists this sacrament is regarded as a tool of creating a visible reminder of the Lord who died, and of the Kingdom that he desires for all persons.

It is holy because it takes ordinary elements of creation, bread and wine, and setting them aside from common use for this act of gracious memory.

The American Methodist theologian, Stanley Hauerwas, speaks of this sacrament as an act of radical protest. Sharing in communion together is indeed an act of radical protest! It is a protest against the exclusion of the world, since at Christ's table all persons are welcome, young, old, black, white, male, female, straight, gay, rich, and poor. All are equaly part of God's gracious Kingdom, under God's gracious rule, and open to God's tranforming grace. None is excluded. All are welcome... The invitation to the table that we used to says...

... Come, not because you can, but because you must. Not because you are worthy, but because you are invited. Come not because you are righteous, but because you desire to be true disciples of Jesus. Come, not because you are strong, but because you are weak; not because you have any claim on heaven's reward, but because in your frailty and sin you stand in constant need of God's mercy and help.

This is radical! It subverts the dominant culture of our age. It confronts self sufficiency, individualism, arrogance, pride, power, wealth, prejudice and many other false values.

So, today we engaged in an act of Radical protest, we recalled that God's Kingdom is a Kingdom of God's mercy and grace! We recalled what reality informs and shapes our choices, our very lives.

Thanks be to God for God's grace!


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