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04 June 2010

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Lucy Wright

Thank you, another thought provoking post especially in the light of the Cumbria shootings this week. It has pushed my thinking about how to have a 'missional lens' when preciding at the table. In this situation it seems right that a generous loving God would welcome all to his table; but I do find it a challenge!

David Kerrigan

Hi Lucy... hope all goes well with you. Yes, I agree, not easy. But just for a moment entertain the 'why not?' question. What theological imperitive has caused us to fence off the table? Certainly 1 Cor 11:29 seems to suggest that anyone who shares in communion "without recognising the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgement on himself (NIV)" But is that just a reference to unruly feasting in 1 Cor 11:21. Maybe Paul was saying "Hey...slow up, and stop getting drunk! Dont you 'recognise' this is the Church's agape feast?" But dont lose sight of the big issue - was the Rev right or wrong? And iuf he was right, was he only right for that time and occasion, or was he on to something?

And let me tell you a dream - what would it be like to have a communion service in the middle of a busy street and ask people if they would like to come, have someone say a simple prayer, and allow them to share in something that might yet evoke a memory of encountering God from years gone by. Now wouldnt that be interesting! (Better stop now - I think I'll be in trouble on this one!)

Andy Goodliff

Can I just encourage people to read the new BU material Gathering Around the Table: Children and Communion ... which explores the possibility of an open table and those verses from 1 Cor 11.

Simon Jones

I have a friend who ministers in the centre of London who dreams of staging guerilla communions: setting a table up on a station concourse and offering bread and wine to passers-by.
His aim is to offer a sacred shot to those who don't normally go to church.
Interestingly, he being anglican was intrigued by the little, individual glasses that some Baptists use for communion, describing them as 'shot glasses'.
We have taken the Lord's Supper/communion/Eucharist away from people and made it 'holy' only for those in the right frame of mind and good standing before God. i wonder if that was Jesus' intention.
In 1 Corinthians 11 I think Paul is urging his hearers to share bread and wine with any and everyone present - some of whom would have been the non-Christian clients or slaves of the housholder. The key for Paul was that everyone got an adequate meal and that in getting that meal was able to share in the grace of God revealed in Jesus.
Surely that's still our call; surely we should be inviting all who attend to eat and drink, to share in our communion feast.

David Kerrigan

Guerilla Communion! Simon, how did you ever graduate with theology like that :-)

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