Dear Malcolm vii

Letter XIX discusses Holy Communion.

When I was candidating to become a Methodist Minister, one of the questions I was asked was, “Can you explain Holy Communion to us?”  Wow, just a simple question then!  I can’t remember now what I said, though I must have satisfied them, but I always remember being asked.

Lewis takes up the challenge by saying he’s silent on the subject  because he doesn’t think he’s good enough at theology (what we say abut the things of God) – though he clearly understands very well!

He points out that bread and wine are very strange symbols to remind us of the death of Christ.  But they would have been everyday symbols.  If this is something that reminds us of Jesus and his death and sacrifice for us each time we take them, they will be a near constant reminder.  Jesus is taking the normal and making it special, using the everyday to speak of something that effects our lives day by day.

But as Lewis says, “Your explanation leaves the mystery for me, still a mystery”.  And I think that is perhaps part of it.

“The command is Take, eat: not Take, understand”

We don’t understand what happens in communion.  It is not what we use, but what God does with it.  After all, if you had to understand communion to take it, our communion rails would be rather empty!  There is nothing “Magic” in bread and wine.  But there is something absolutely fantastic in Jesus’ offering his life for us, that we might know forgiveness, freedom and peace.

To me communion, in it’s simplest sense is sustenance for the journey.  It feeds, it nourishes, it is that opportunity to come before God and invite him to fill us and renew us again.  But what that means in itself will be different to each of us at different times.

Holy Communion is a reminder of what Jesus has done.  Especially this week, we should come, take and remember what God offers to us; take his strength for ourselves; and live his offering our lives wherever we go.

I’ve ‘taken up’ C S Lewis for Lent.

They’re a couple of books that I found when we moved, and thought ‘I must have another read of those one day’.  Well in an effort to do something productive during Lent, ‘one day’ has come.

I started with The Screwtape Letters and now I’m moving on to ‘Prayer: Letters to Malcolm‘ , first published 1964.  It must be about 25 years since I read it – and a lot of water has passed under this bridge since then.

I’ll share just some of my random thoughts as I work my way through it – hoping they might spark some thought.  Feel free to comment!

~ by pamjw on March 31, 2010.

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