The Eucharist and Ecumenism: Let Us Keep the Feast

We Christians are a people divided by what unites us. We believe that God has, through the body and blood of Jesus Christ, made us one people, but how the Eucharist works to make us one with God and one another has been one of the most divisive points of conflict between Christians, particularly since the Reformation. Over time the sides have hardened, leading many to assume that the differences are intractable and that therefore it is best not to bring them up. As a result, questions about Christ’s presence in the elements, the sacrificial character of the meal, the status of the celebrant and the social and political implications of the Eucharist are increasingly assumed to be theological side issues that are irrelevant for the challenges facing the contemporary church.

 

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