A definition of the Eucharistic community (Judges 6,25-end; Hebrews 5,11- 6 end) /Monday after the Sunday After Ascension Day, BCP Lectionary/
There is a fantastic definition of the Eucharistic community. The local Christian community is one ‘which is giving itself up to God’s love’. It is this self-offering that makes us Christians belonging to the new, and not to the old, creation. (Zizioulas, Being as Communion).
Our communal experience of giving ourselves up to God’s love in the Eucharistic worship is a crucial one. Through this surrender to the Source of Life, we are no longer dissolved in the faceless inertia of the culture in which we live. For this is what individuals and communities suffer most: the inertia, the impersonal inertia of ‘this world’. In this ‘telos-less’ sea (where there is no purpose, no ultimate meaning, no ultimate responsibility and accountability), it is impossible to have an identity. The soul and the heart gets ultimately inflated. In the ‘old creation’, the human person ceases to be grounded in love. No wonder that the sense of God, the desire for worship disappears from social consciousness.
Our first reading, Judges reminds us of the effort that one must make in order to have God’s (love’s!) revealed Presence. ‘And the Lord said unto Gedeon, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it; and build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock.’ (Judges 6,25-end)
Our second reading invites us to reignite our trust in God’s promises. This awareness is particularly important in a culture which is defined by ‘zero talk about the Biblical God.’ It is only through the mentioned conscious act of ‘giving ourselves up to God’s love’, that these promises will come alive and support us - on our journey, facing ‘this world’. Becoming a Eucharistic community is not an option. This is the only gateway to survive and not to be dissolved, and melted into the images of ‘the faceless gods’, which is our age.
Let us ‘feel’ the healing power of God’s promises. ‘For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name…’
(Personally, as far as I understand things when trying to make sense of my experiences, this rediscovering what the Eucharist means, and it compels us to do, is the only option for the ‘renewal initiatives’ of the Church of England. The new forms of mission, ‘fresh expressions’, will lose impetus and life, if they don’t intend to become Eucharistic communities; and defined by the Eucharist. The point I am making is that the Eucharist will reveal a hole ‘programme’ to learn about and internalize. Attempts of renewal remain groundless, if we are not facing the ‘Catholick DNA’ of the Church. There is a lot to reflect on what this ‘Catholick DNA’ is…)
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..