By Eleanor Kreider
With liveliness and intensity, Eleanor Kreider encourages church buildings to rediscover the biblical and theological issues which formed early Christian Lord's Supper practices. Renewed communion is a key to renewal, witness, and very important worship, she says.
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Historical studies have a way of opening new windows and providing a connection with the past. Because the past is the road that leads into the future, we dare not move into the future without a critical assessment of where our worship came from and how it took on its present shape. Page 10 Having set the stage for our contemporary study of communion, Kreider shifts the focus of the book to the modern practice of communion. Her treatment of the meaning of communion through a study of its images is a delight.
6 According to its institution and as in all liturgical remembering, Passover celebration looks to the future. This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. (Exod. 12:14) Praise for God's deliverance from slavery in the past was joined to the prophetic yearning for messianic redemption and the establishing of God's reign. Jesus himself renewed Passover intent, because in him dawned the new age of Messiah.
They met in their homes to "break bread" together, and they shared their food with joy and generosity (Acts 2:46). More Than a MemoryJesus Was Truly Present Among the meal memories of Jesus' disciples, surely the most potent were those of his unpredictable comings and goings at their post-resurrection common meals. However strong their emotions of disbelief, amazement, or unalloyed joy, the disciples' consistent witness was that Jesus himself was there. From the very earliest times, when Christians gathered to "do this in remembrance," they were confident that the risen Christ, more than a memory, was truly with them.
Communion Shapes Character by Eleanor Kreider
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