Saturday, August 18, 2007

The New Sacrament

Douglas Groothuis has an interesting post on coffee and the Lord's Supper.
How many evangelical churches focus more attention on their coffee bar than on the sacrament of the Lord's Supper? What engenders greater community, the ersatz Starbucks or the Eucharist?

Having little culture of its own, evangelicalism tends to absorb the surrounding culture in ahistorical and undiscerning ways. Yes, coffee is a gift from God, and I find no reason to boycott Starbucks. But think about it.
A couple of comments:
Coffee - Starbucks is good. It beats the terrible "church coffee" that was served in so many churches for so many years. Better yet is to use "fair trade" coffee.

Lord's Supper / Table - I tend to use the term Lord's Table to refer to what we celebrate.
  • In most cases it is not a "supper" it is less than a snack... we have shared in the Lord's Supper as a meal together in our small group and at church dinners... which I believe is much better.
  • In evangelicalism, we tend to turn the eucharist into a mournful event rather than a celebration. Yes, we look back, but we also know what happens!
  • Again, in much of evangelicalism we limit fellowship of the table. I have run into people who got upset if we came to the table more than once a month... they said we were "making it less special". I have been part of a church that came to the table weekly, but in a way that invited people to participate.

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