Sunday, August 9, 2015

Getting Cosmic

Already in various parts of the world, Christians are gathering on Sunday, the Lord's Day. It is the Lord's not simply in terms of ownership. After all, he created all of them and all of them belong to him. Sunday is the Lord's Day because this is the one out of seven that we are to live differently, not focusing on work or our own pursuits but on God. And until the 16th century, ALL Christians understood that an essential part of that worship was the Eucharist.

We are continuing to read Chapter 6 of John and today we reach the crux of the matter in a single sentence.

The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.

The claim that Jesus makes here is truly cosmic. In fact the world used for the world is kosmos.

And there can be no doubt that the Eucharist truly is the body of Christ, because Jesus describe it with the word sarx, an earthy word that means flesh.

Jesus is announcing to us that he is going to give us a new kind of bread, a bread that will be not just from him, but of him. It will be his very flesh. This bread will keep up linked to a completely new form of life zoe. When we hear the words of Jesus today, "for the life of the world", we should hear chapter 21 of the Book of Revelation.

Then I saw a new heavens and a new earth.

Remember that time does not exist for God. From God's point of view the new heavens and new earth already are. And even now we can have some share in that life, the heavenly banquet, to borrow another image from the Book of Revelation.

We are commanded, for one hour each week, to step out of our ordinary life. As we walk through the doors into the Church, we cross into the holy place and from the entrance song until we are commanded to "Go forth", we participate sacramentally in the heavenly banquet, and we receive the life giving body of Christ.