Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Communion Part III

All this thinking about communion has my head in a spin and as you hopefully noticed, I didn't write Part III last week as I had promised. I'm no Biblical scholar by any means but here's the best I could come up with.

The Christian act of communion is based on the Last Supper where Jesus clearly said (or as clearly as we can determine by the witness accounts which have undergone countless re-tellings and re-writings) that the wine represented the "blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many." (Matthew 14:22-24 for example). In some accounts he adds "for the remission of sins." (Matthew 25:25-28).  In the Old Testament there is also mention of the life blood given for atonement. (Leviticus 17:11).

There were several covenants in the Old Testament including those with Abraham (through which God promises to make his people God's people and to make Abraham a conduit for God's blessings), Noah (God promises never again to destroy the world [I guess he knew we could do that on our own], Moses (between God and the Israelites, includs the Ten Commandments), and David (establishes his family as heirs to the throne of the nation of Israel).

The last is the New Covenant which was made through Christ at the Last Supper Seder.The wine is drunk four times at a Seder (to represent the four promises) and it is thought that it was while drinking the third cup (redemption) that he said the words that preceded his death and establish that death as an act to save our souls.

After reading the Bible about the reason that Jesus shared the wine and his new covenant, I'm wondering if I should partake in the future.  I'm thinking that no amount of re-visioning the ritual to make it my own makes it right for me to participate. Because the very basis of the ritual--a belief that I am a sinner who cannot save myself--is contrary to my thoughts these days.

I know I'm flawed.  The divine knows I'm flawed. But I do hold a glimmer of hope that I will redeem myself in tiny ways until I'm the best ME I can be. The basic tenets of the Christian religion--Love God, Love Yourself, and Love Everybody Else (thanks, Al Green!) work for me as a simple guidepost to living. And if I use tools of the faiths like meditation, contemplative prayer, community, works, and studying to move myself along then I'm probably on the right path.

Thanks for reading along as I muddled through.

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