School has got the best of me these past few weeks. I am excited to say that thanks to good friday and class being canceled I slept eight hours today. I have also been able to finish up some papers I have had to write on integrating the Incarnation and Atonement; Christian pacificms vs. Just War Theory; and a paper correcting Zwingli's memorial supper. I enjoyed writing that one because I got really see how the Eucharist has been the central act of worship since the early church and how it came to be distorted through the differnet eras of conflict in the Church. Before we get to the article I want to leave you with quote from William Cavanaugh's Torture and Eucharist commenting on Herni de Lubac, who has provided a good reading of just what went wrong during in the Church's Eucharistic theology in Scholasticism, the Medieval synthesis, and its breakdown in the Reformation, which is where Zwingli pops up.
“The corpus mysticum was identified with the sacramental body, and the corpus verum with the church. However, around the twelfth century, as Henri de Lubac’s important study Corpus Mysticum shows, there is an inversion of meaning. In subsequent centuries the altar would be the site of Christ’s corpus verum, his true and knowable body, and the church would be his corpus mysticum.”
I think that leads nicely into the article.
From My Heart
In speaking about why God entered into human history through an incarnation Hebrews 2:17 says that God "had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (2:17).
Propitiation means to "make atonement." It is an act of incredible self-giving that takes away the sins of people. This is amazing when we remember that the One we've offended is the One who acts in such away as not to hold our offense against Him. That is called forgiveness; I mean, out-of-this-world forgiveness; the kind of forgiveness that redirects a persons' journey and literally enables them to reorient their lives.
Jesus is the One who helps us reorient our lives. He doesn't simply forgive. He comes into our life experience and lives there as "a merciful and faithful high priest." An act of forgiveness would be wonderful in-and-of itself, but I think we human types need more that an act of forgiveness. We need someone to come alongside us and show us what it means to be forgiven, to show us what it means to reorient our lives, to show us how to turn around and come home to God and then how to live in God's home.
This is something for all of us Christians to take seriously as we seek to be faithful to God. A great question for every local church is, "How do we be faithful to the merciful and faithful high priest?" Whatever the answer is we need to pursue it together and then commit to be a community of that Jesus, our merciful and faithful high priest.
Huge issues are at stake here. Life-energizing and transforming grace awaits us.