Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Table Fellowship, pt. 2

Let's continue with Gordon Lathrop's idea that Christianity came into existence at a table. In fact, it is his assertion that, "it was at table that those earliest assemblies seem to have come to understand and trust that now the crucified and dead Jesus was alive."

What does it mean that Christianity is a meal fellowship? Of course, in view is the Eucharist, the thanksgiving. It is at this moment of the liturgy when we find the heart of the Gospel. As we enact this ritual, we reenact the broken body and the shed blood, and we "proclaim the LORD'S death until he comes."

But as important as this is there is still more. Think of the Thanksgiving holiday, for example, the day in the year when families gather to eat and fellowship. Think of the ideal, quiet moment just before eating when we are summoned to silence by the presence of the food and each other. This hush comes even before the prayer.

In Christianity there is this deep communal aspect of the table gathering, as we share the Word and the Cup together. For, in eating the bread and drinking the cup, in feasting on the Word of the LORD, and in sharing the food of the Kingdom -- whether real food or spiritual -- with the poor, we are revealing the deepest truth of all. We are His body.