Friday, February 23, 2024


Jesus said, "Take this and eat, for this is my body." Then, He poured the wine and said, "And this, and drink, for this is my blood." 

And the world looked at the Christians and asked...are you cannibals?

This was a very real criticism that Christians faced very early on, and from time to time since then. We talk about Communion, and we talk about the body and the blood of Christ in the emblems, and this doesn't make sense to the world. What does it mean that we are eating our God? 

But of course, we know that that's not really it. None of us thinks that we are actually eating the real flesh or drinking the real blood of Christ; we understand it as a metaphor for accepting the sacrifice that He offered on our behalf, the death He suffered for us. We take this meal and eat because for us, it it the bread of Heaven and the gift of salvation in tangible, taste-able form. It's a way to remember. 

As I think about this criticism, though - that we are cannibals - I think there's an easier way to explain what's happening to a world that doesn't understand substitutionary atonement. A way that doesn't require a depth of theological thinking. A way that might help them understand what's happening at the Table. 

In the beginning, God created man in His image. He stooped down and formed man in the dust, then breathed into him the very Spirit of God. The very substance of our being is holy. 

And the blood and the body of Christ, in the emblems, is holy. 

The taking of the emblems keeps us connected to our substance, keeps us growing in holiness and holy things. 

So essentially, what I'm saying is - we are essentially emotionally-complicated sourdough starters. 

That's why the bread is unleavened. That's why there's no yeast in it. That's why God warned His people in the Old Testament about yeast and Jesus warned His disciples, too. We have to be careful about the things that we let grow us. 

And it's the unleavened bread of the sacrifice of Christ that grows us the most. This body, this blood - this bread, this juice - it is the yeast. It's the thing that we keep turning over and over and kneading and knotting and growing from. Every time. 

We're not cannibals, eating the flesh and drinking the blood of another human being; we are sourdough starters, being fed by the very substance of which we were created, growing Christward every time we feast around this table. 

Let us be fed.  

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