Saturday, April 29, 2017

Revelation 19:7-18

You can read the end of chapter nineteen in John's Revelation here.

Along with this time of reading, marking, learning and inwardly digesting this vision given to John on Patmos, I've been working on a cookbook. It's not been overtly theological, although it does include some Scripture and some table blessings along with recipes. But undergirding it, I am making a theological assumption not unlike that of Richard Capon in his The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection: namely that every time we gather at the table to share a meal, the risen Christ is present. Not just in church at the Eucharist!

When I have prepared persons for confirmation and reception into The Episcopal Church over the years, and we have come to the point of discussing the Eucharist, I've reminded people of three dimensions to this meal - not unlike the Paschal mystery itself there is a past, present, and future tense to it. A last supper is remembered, a meal that took place in an upper room, in the context of the Jewish celebration of Passover. A thanksgiving (literally what the word eucharist means) is offered which has both a horizontal and vertical dimension as we commune with God and with our neighbor. And a future eschatological feast, this supper of the lamb, is anticipated.This last component tends to be underplayed in the liturgies in The Book of Common Prayer but gets highlighted more in newer rites approved for use in The Episcopal Church.

We are invited to share in this marriage feast, this "Supper of the Lamb" to get a foretaste of what is to come. But we get glimpses from our lives of what that will be like when we attend the wedding of a family member or friend, or share in a special meal at a table where there is laughter and joy and stories to be told. This image captures our imaginations and invites us to make our own tables places where Christ deigns to be our guest. To taste and see that the Lord is good indeed.

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