Imaginary Lines daydreaming for beginners

Breaking Bread

But that, of course, is because the Church early evolved into a them-and-us community. In fact, in the medieval worldview there were four levels of them and then the rest of us. Priests holding power; we beholden and tamed.

Unlike the Gospel, which the New Testament shows us was never tamed. Chucked out of synagogues and cities maybe, but never tamed. Yet bit by bit, accretion on accretion, power to transform evolved into power to constrain.

I’m not suggesting we must not have order, but I do not believe we should have Orders who are ‘other’: respected, yes, but reverenced, no. Pastors, yes; professional, yes; priests in orders, no.
The Church of England offers for this time a liturgy of ‘Spiritual Communion’. It does this because of the tautology that reserved the ability to speak Mark 14: 22-25 (we are allowed to sing a hymn, v26) or I Corinthians 11: 23-26 over our bread and wine.

Is there anything more powerless than being dependant on a priest for access to our common meal? No, there is not.

On a different tack, Pope Francis reminded Roman Catholics that they always have access to God directly when they seek forgiveness of their sins. Even if they do not have the discipline of Confession available to them they still have all they need for self-examination and confession. Discipline (training to engender self-control and an ordered way of life) is the key point here; we are disciples (ones who take instruction) after all.

Faith does demand discipline (1 Tim 2:7) and order (1 cor 14:40); we ought not — to go back to my original discussion — take the Lord’s Supper lightly. Paul seems to be having a hard time with the Corinthians because in 1 Cor 11: 27 he is telling them to get their act together and in the next verse he is requiring them — and us — to follow the discipline of examination (v28).

So, we do indeed have direct access to our Father for forgiveness; and we also have access in Christ, to the food from heaven. No mediation necessary; no spiritual communion except the one we experience in our everyday life. There is nothing in the New Testament to stop us breaking bread and acknowledging our union with Jesus Christ. (However, we must just not do that in a Church of England building as that would be disrespectful to the power structures which govern such places.)

Maybe this time of isolation will teach us anew of the Grace of God in Christ Jesus.