hram Rozdestva Hristov?g, Pirot

If you know me well, you are sure to know about my great affection, desire, and reverence for the Communion Table.  Though I’ve devoted a good deal of time to studying the theology of the Table, it’s the mystery that appeals to me.  There are so many arguments about the Table…Is it an ordinance or a sacrament?  Who can partake?  Who can’t?  How often should we celebrate?  Are there spiritual benefits to taking the bread and wine?  Is Christ really physically present?  Or is there a more portable version of God (AKA, the Holy Spirit) there?  I think sometimes we let the theological arguments over this ancient ritual to cloud the beauty of the reckless, raging love of Christ that is available there.  On that note, this morning, I stumbled across a wonderful post on the Real Presence written Matt O’Reilly at his blog, Incarnatio, that included this great quote:

“…I’ve come to embrace the mystery of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This attitude is captured well by Charles Wesley in his hymn, “O the Depth of Love Divine”. He writes:

O the depth of love divine,
Th’unfathomable grace!
Who shall say how bread and wine
God into man conveys!
How the bread his flesh imparts,
How the wine transmits his blood,
Fills his faithful people’s hearts
With all the life of God!

How is Christ present in bread and wine? I don’t know. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that Christ is present, really present. He said that the bread is his body and the wine is his blood. That’s all. He didn’t explain it. He didn’t fill in the details. And now, finally, that’s enough for me. If we are going to say something about Christ’s Eucharistic Presence, we should learn from Wesley that sometimes it’s better to sing a hymn than write a treatise.”

For me, the bottom line is this:  There’s a lot of mystery involved in Holy Communion.  I don’t know how Christ is present, but I am thoroughly convinced that He’s there.  Regardless of my own state of mind, emotional situation, sin problems, financial difficulties, work overload, relationship issues, or current Facebook status, there’s a place at the Table for me.  Sermons, music, and liturgy may become stale to me from week to week, but the Body and Blood of Christ is always there for me, and it always satisfies.

Please take some time to visit Incarnatio and read the full post here.  Also, feel welcome to click on “Communion” in my tags for more of my thoughts on Holy Communion.