This is a blog about the Church of Jesus Christ, and about my work in the Church this summer. For more information on my summer internship, see the first post.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Some Thoughts On Communion

In preparation for a brief homily I'm going to give on Wednesday at the Noon Chapel Eucharist, I just listened to a really great sermon by Dr. Timothy Keller (of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan) about the meaning and importance of the Lord's Supper. Here's the link.

I think Dr. Keller offers a well-articulated, theologically accurate, and practical explanation of the Lord's Supper, and does so in a way that provokes some interesting questions. Some are more logistical in nature: what is the best way of receiving communion? In line at an altar rail, or gathered in a circle? Must one receive the elements from a Eucharistic minister, or is there benefit in receiving the elements and then passing them along to the believer next in line? Then of course there are the theological dilemmas: if the best context for the sharing of the Lord's Supper is that of the small group, as Dr. Keller suggests, how should the issue of presidency at communion be resolved. (Of course, as Anglicans we can avoid the dispute by letting L.E.M.s orchestrate this kind of thing for their small group, though as far as I am aware, this would be an unusual form of Lay Eucharistic ministry...)

Perhaps you would find it beneficial to think about Dr. Keller's points on the purpose of the Lord's Supper before you receive it this weekend (or whenever you'll do so next). To put it like Jonathan Edwards, the door to the affections is through the understanding; and so what we know about our Lord's Supper ought to deepen our gratitude toward the One who is present with us in a truly unique way every time we receive it (sorry for putting it that way to any Zwinglians or Papists who might be reading...you know I love you :-D )

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