Bloody bloody!

There are a lot of bloody passages in scripture–mostly in the Old Testament–but our gospel reading from this past Sunday strikes me as the bloodiest!  If I were British I would say that it’s bloody bloody!  Jesus is talking to crowds and is trying to make sure his message about who he is gets across to them, so he uses vivid language.  “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.  Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.  Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me” (John 6:53-57).  How are we to understand this message?  What does it say about the Eucharist?  We could ponder the meaning for a lifetime.  What does the Eucharist mean to you?  There is no one correct answer.  We invite you to respond!


About aliceatgrace

I'm the Rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Hopkinsville, KY. When I came here in August, 2011, I discovered that we have a great asset that was being under-utilized, to say the least. We have a beautiful Chartres labyrinth that was dedicated four years ago, and I decided that I would do all I could to promote the use of it. It's now just post-Easter of 2012, and, about a month ago, it occurred to me that our labyrinth is a symbol of what the future of this church is intended to be. We are people on an ongoing spiritual journey together. We like to ask questions, and we don't always have to have the answers. We are confident that God is leading us into deeper relationships--both with God and with the world around us. We invite you to "come walk with us."
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One Response to Bloody bloody!

  1. The Eucharist to me means the Real Presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, just as he was present with his disciples during the two times he fed thousands, the Last Supper, and on the road to Emmaus. In my opinion, consubstantiation is the Eucharist theology that makes the most sense, i.e., that Jesus is present alongside the elements of bread and wine. Transubstantiation is too literal while memorialism (the general Evangelical idea) is too simplisitic.

    I think Jesus meant to convey that he embodies his own Gospel and the Eucharist is a symbolic manner of consuming his message, just as Elijah had to eat the bitter scroll from God before you prophesied to Israel. Additionally, John the Divine was required to “eat” his revelation scroll. Eating in a spiritual sense means to “inwardly digest” (as the BCP says) what God has in store for us; that every ounce of our essence is preoccupied with the things of God.

    The act of sharing a meal as a community has to do with fellowship and unconditional love. Mealtimes are the one place in human behavior in which two perfectly good enemies could engage in pleasant conversation before remembering their squabble. This apparently happened during World War I, in which American and German forces stopped their shooting to celebrate Christmas together. How all the more Holy Communion graciously brings the people of God together, even when they don’t see eye-to-eye!

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