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Oh wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Weekly Report 10

Ben Robinson
Weekly Report #10
11-27-05 through 12-4-05
"Helping Serve Communion"

This week I also had the wonderful opportunity to help serve communion. I was excited yes also somewhat apprehensive. The Eucharist is a sacrament which is highly significant and very powerful. I believe in the historically orthodox position that grace is communicated through the act. I believe an ordained minister should give the blessing over the elements but that it is fine for a lay-person to help serve the elements.

Some of my contemporaries disagree with me on this last point. They feel that it is fine for a lay-person to conduct an entire communion service because they themselves have at times done so and the service "was meaningful to all of us." When is the theoligical accuracy of a ritual determined by how "meaningful" it feels to the person participating in the act? Can our emotions not deceive us? Can we find something meaningful even if it was done with little respect to the act? I think so. Can God work in the same way through communion by means of a lay-person? Yes. But the question is really not whether God can but whether God will. It is clear that God has chosen to work in various ways in this world, some ways that are very specific. I am not supposing a blind sacerdotal approach to the Eucharist but I do believe that for such acts as sacraments God predominantly works through ordained ministers.

Certainly there may be exceptions, particularly when there is no ordained minister available (i.e. some middle eastern countries). However, exceptions are exactly that; exceptions. We should not make them the rule.

The experience itself was quite beneficial, even if I disagree with the theological position of my practicum church. I brought the juice around to the congregants. Communion was served by means of passing the elements. While this is also not my preferred method of serving communion, the experience still was valuable because I was able to be in the role of one serving his brothers and sisters.

Through this practicum I learned that the theology behind our praxy is very important. I also saw, though, the power that the Eucharist has to bind together congregants as a community. Communion seems to inspire in a community a change in perspective. Thanks be to God for His grace.


Blogger Will Shelor said...

I totally agree with you, man! Feelings are not what Christianity is about. How many times have I had friends who had a faith based solely on feelings, who later turned away? The heart of man is constantly changing.

Also, people say that God can work through a layperson as well as through a minister. I will say that it's possible, but just because God can use an effort that's not our best, does that mean we should give him that? No way! We're to give God our best! Therefore, I completely understand your issues with their theological position.

1:25 AM  

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