For many centuries, the Church has been cultivating the bad habit of seeing this time of communion a time of introspection.
But if there is anything that is a barrier to communion, it is the self-absorption that we have come to associate with this meal. So, as you come, do not curl up into a little ball and do not think about your shortcomings. You already confessed your sins an hour ago. This is dinner; you have already washed up, some time ago.
Do not close your eyes. Look around at all the saints that are gathered here. They are the body of Christ, together with you, and when you look at them this way, you are discerning the body of Christ.
You are not to be looking at the bread, or the wine in the cup, trying to do some theological metaphysics. You are being knit together, into a perfect man, all of you together, and you are united to the head of the body, the Lord Jesus Christ. You best assume this role when you are aware of how others are doing the same.
You are serving as an eye when you gladly reflect on how others are an ear, or fingers, or a foot. When we see the diversity that exists in the unified body of Christ, you are learning true spiritual wisdom.
You will not learn this if you spend this time reflecting on what a poor eye you have been all week. That may be, but that is no reason to continue sinning in just the same way as you approach the Table. If you have been selfish during the week, confess it, and forsake it. Particularly, forsake it here.
This meal is a communal meal. It is not about you in solitary. This meal was established by the grace of God, and is therefore all about Him, and all about us together. Whenever you see your morbid individualism creeping to disrupt this meal, chase it away with loud shouts. Chase it down the road, throwing rocks at it. Then come back to the Table—come back and commune with us.
One thought on “Doug Wilson: at Eucharist, do not close your eyes”
Yes, it is a communal meal. It is the mystical body of Christ. Come back to the Table…such wonderfully framed words…such healing.
At the Easter Eucharist at Mutter Gottes Kirche here, I heared “The Strife is O’er, the Battle Won.” These are for my brother, Gary, I thought. Six days later Gary passed away. Whilst at his funeral, the sting of death was taken away.
Thanks be to God.
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