28 November 2006

Bonhoeffer's Christology Lectures

There is so much to reflect upon in Dietrich Bonhoeffer's lectures on the Docrine of Christ given in 1933. This quote reflects much of Bonhoeffer's sense that Christ is present in the congregation, and that the congregation is the Body of Christ. For Bonhoeffer (at least in these lectures), his discussion of church and communion rest upon the work of Christ.

"The Word is the congregation insofar as the congregation is a receiver of the Word. The sacrament is also both in the congregation and there as congregation. Beyond the Word it has in itself already a bodily form. This form of his embodiment is the body of Christ himself and is as such at the same time the form of the congregation. This is no mere image. The congregation is the Body of Christ. It really is what it says it is. The concept of the body applied to the congregation is not a functional concept that relates itself to the members, but instead it is a concept about the way of existence of the present, risen and humiliated Christ."

18 November 2006

Where we might see communion?

After 10 days of being distracted by actually writing my thesis, working on the new humor blog on the GOEs, and other work, I return her to ask: Where might we actually see communion?

There are numerous ways to describe the Church, even in the New Testament there are over 100 metaphors, analogies, and images that are used (according to my Catholic University professor).

One element that I think is absolutely essential for true communion is a healthy and robust sense of humility based in a deep understanding of brokenness, falling short of one's true nature, not living into one's better self, and, dare I say, sin. When people gather together with a deep sense of confession, humility, and vulnerability - here is where they most fully experience God's grace and communion with us, and where they can experience one another in communion.

Where might we actually see communion?

It is a difficult question, for our lives and our relationships, and our families, and our communities and our churches all have conflict and the challenges of difference.

So, dipping my toe in the waters of the visible church of the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church, I offer up a few thoughts:

First, this article, posted on the Times Online Blog of Ruth Gledhill, describes Rowan Williams and the fact that when he was at Cambridge he received a hard time from evangelicals who thought he was too liberal, now he's receiving a hard time from folks on the other side of that equation. Ms. Gledhill has some insightful thoughts on this observation which may be a model for us as well.

Second, after hearing a wonderful lecture and discussion by the Anglican Feminist Theologian Sarah Coakley yesterday, I realize how much more I need to reflect upon the Trinity, and whether the Trinity can really be a model for us in this visible, real world. She offered to me a greater vision of the mystical aspect of the Trinity, and caused me to wonder just how far the Trinity can be helpful for the building of an ecclesiology of communion.

08 November 2006

Communion as Communion?

Ah, the most obvious model may have escaped my initial notice...

What I LOVE about Leonardo Da Vinci's Last Supper is that (because of an experimental fresco technique) the painting looks pretty cloudy, ephemeral and perhaps hard to really see, or experience....much like Communion? When we think we "have it" it seems to be fleeting. The Holy Eucharist can transform us, but I just hope we might continue to join with each other at the table.

From Images of Com...

05 November 2006

In Christ and with one another

I gained some hope in the following quote from our new Presiding Bishop.

"If some in this church feel wounded by recent decisions, then our salvation, our health as a body, is at some hazard, and it becomes the duty of all of us to seek healing and wholeness."

-Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

We are constituted in Christ and we are a Body of Christ, not mere islands unto ourselves. I do hope that we can walk humbly and compassionately with one another, and that we all can see that we need one another.

01 November 2006

How does Trinity deal with Conflict?

Well, with our brief fall holiday, I've been blogging quite a bit...perhaps too much to really keep up with...

A question (and answer!) that Steve raised earlier (click here to read it) is an excellent one, and one really near the heart of my thesis (and some of our struggles in the Anglican Communion - and in the larger Church - today).

"The Trinity is, in all actuality, the supreme example of relationship (between the Godhead and humaity surely, but even more so between individual human beings, groups of human beings, and human beings and the rest of Creation).

Where this example gets stuck however is conflict. How does the Trinity deal with conflict within itself? Does the Trinity deal with conflict within itself? If it does, it surely does not respsond with violence, or polarization, but rather with love, with the continuation of the dance, and with mutual respect."

With all its depth and strength as a model of Church, how can the Trinity
(locked together in perichoresis (or detention ;))
allow for conflict, prophetic voice, or disagreement?