Christian Ethics

A Community That Celebrates Around The Table

Long Before There Were Sacraments , God Called Himself By This Name : I Am Here . In Sacraments And Religious Acts, The Point Is To Make God Visible In Signs Such As Bread And Wine At The Eucharist. Being Church Is Meant As A Quest For Traces Of God Among People, In Which It Is Central To Be On The Road With People, To Accompany Them On Their Paths, However Beautiful Or Difficult They May Be. (Heyes P 156)

That Is Essentially What Rituals Are About: To Experience God As The One Who Is Not Enthroned Somewhere Far Away From The World, But Who Protects, Blesses, Carries And Meets People At Important Moments In Their Lives. But Just Like In The Time Of Jesus, It Has To Be Poured Into A Language And A Form That We Can Now Experience, Accept And Understand. This Can Of Course Mean That Handed Down Rites, Rituals, Liturgies Are Scrutinized. Are There Other Roads That Need To Be Built? But The Question Remains: Do We In The Church Only Want To Form And Keep Traditions Alive Or Do We Want To Meet People And Follow In The Footsteps Of Jesus? (Heyes Pp 172-173)

From The Very Beginning The Meal Wasthe Central Moment Of Celebration Among The Followers Of Jesus, Who Were Soon Called ‘christians’. They Gathered Together With Their Families In Groups At The House And Did As Jesus Had Done: They Ate A Meal, Broke The Bread And Drank The Wine. For Jesus, Sharing Bread And Wine With The People Was So Much As A Hallmark, As Has Already Been Pointed Out From The History Of The Emmaus. Jesus Preferred To Perform This Ritual With People Who Were Unworthy In The Eyes Of The Lawyers: The Outcasts, Who Had Apparently Been Rejected By God. That Was So Provocative About Jesus. He Ventured To Speak For God. He Ventured To Speak In His Name And As His Proxy. These Were All Things That Were Taboo To The Jews. God Who Became Man And Made Himself Known As Man, Who Found Men As Man, Contacted Them And Showed Unconditional Solidarity With Them; It Was Unheard Of. Unimaginable. (Heyes Pp 98-99)

Jesus Also Says That He Gives Himself As A Meal . See The Scripture In Which Jesus Offers Himself To Others To Eat: ‘this Is My Body Which Is Given For You. Do This, Over And Over Again, In Remembrance Of Me.’ (Lk 22:19) In Aramaic, The Language Spoken By Jesus, The Word Here Translated ‘body’ Means: The Whole Person, That Is, The Body Including Feeling, Thinking And Doing. Then Jesus Gave The People His Love, Mercy, Closeness And Solidarity During The Meal. With This He Says: Just As People Need Bread For Food, They Also Need This Meal, This Divine ‘self-Giving’ As Food For The Soul And As Support For The Journey. The Meal Expresses The Intimate Connection With God, With Jesus, Even If He Is No Longer Physically Present With People After His Death And Ascension. That Is That Emmaus Experience That Is Almost Impossible To Describe In Words: There Is A Third Person On The Way With You. When Jesus Is Commemorated, When His Actions And What He Has Said, He Is Back In Their Midst. That Was And Is A Great Support. From This Arose A Solidarity That Was Interwoven With Daily Life, A Debt Of Honor To Imitate Jesus And To Experience The Communion That People Had Tasted At Mealtimes. (Heyes Pp 98-100)

The Signs And Symbols Used, For Example, In The Eucharistare Also Included In This Non-Verbal Way Of Communicating. The Eucharist Is A Meal In Which Bread And Wine Are Shared Symbolically And Non-Verbally. When People Come Together And Eat Together In The Name Of Jesus, As Still Happens, It Is A Sensory Experience That Involves More Than Taste, Touch, Smell. The Participants Also Communicate Interactively While Eating And Drinking. Christians Share A Loaf Of Bread, As It Is Called, And Drink From The Same Cup. This Is How They Express Their Deepest Beliefs: That Which People Need To Live Is The Foundation And Center Of Their Faith. This Does Not Only Mean Food, But Also An Encouraging Word, A Touch Or An Embrace. We Need All This To Live And In All Of It God Is Present And In Our Midst. In No Other Bible Story Does This Come Out So Clearly As In That About The So-Called Emmaus Travelers. After Jesus’ Violent Death, Two Of His Disciples Are On Their Way To Emmaus. They Are Sad, Depressed And Depressed. They Had Placed Their Faith In Jesus At The Core Of Their Being.He Always Spoke Of God So Lovingly And From Within, So Very Differently From The Lawyers And Pharisees. Halfway Through, Jesus Approaches Them, But They Do Not Recognize Him. He Explains To Them Why He Had To Die, Why All The Things Had Happened That They Had Experienced In Jerusalem. When They Arrive At The Next Village, The Two Disciples Invite Him To Stay For Dinner. When He Sits At The Table With Them, Takes The Bread, Says The Prayer And Shares The Bread, As He Had So Often Done, Their Eyes Open. They Recognize Jesus And Now Know That He Is Alive. This Sharing Of The Bread Is So Distinctive, So Unique, This Can Only Be Jesus. When Two People Are Together, He Is In Their Midst, That Is How It Is Experienced.

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