The Reality of Christ

I just read a great article by an Orthodox priest (http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2010/08/25/treasure-in-a-box/). He wonderfully depicts the different ways the Christian faith and truth are approached by modernity and how they miss the transcendence of God. I won’t repeat it all here, but in essence he proclaims that the death and resurrection of Christ is a present reality and not just an historical fact. His article reminds one of the debates between Rome and Lutherans about the Sacrament. I’m not an expert in the argument, but it seems very reminiscent of Benedict’s argument that Luther misunderstood or at least misappropriated history.
Anyway, what really stood out to me is that I also just received via email an invite from some LCMS group to join Prayer2010 pray-2010.pdf. “PRAY2010 is designed to invite the gifted intercessors from around the Lu­theran Church – Missouri Synod to come together in one place for a time of prayer and intercession for the advancement of the Kingdom of God on earth.”
In Billy Graham style advertising, Prayer2010 has nothing to do with the Sacrament being the source of our prayers, as Acts so clearly shows. It merely speaks of prayer as that great thing we get to do to get God’s favor. No, not earn grace, but have Him pay attention to us. I haven’t really dug the gems of the dichotomy between these two pieces of information (and I know they’re not of the same genre), but it strikes me as exceedingly unfortunate that the Lutheran Church has put the Sacrament in the box so that now no one thinks of Christ among us, but prayer – a gift indeed – has replaced the Sacrament.

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2 Responses

  1. Just read the above referenced article. I wonder where the “representation of Christ” fits into Father Stephen’s thinking. Certainly the resurrection of Christ is a present sacramental reality, however, not Eucharist only. My Lord first came to me in Holy Baptism and comes also daily in His Word of Holy Scripture. And certainly the reality of Christ’s presence is in confession and Holy Absolution. The Stephen article would be good basis for a group discussion. Thanks for bringing it to our attendtion. Any more comments? Larry, Plainville Kansas.

  2. Yeah, I don’t know. It would be a good group discussion. Maybe I’ll email it to the study group and we can read/cover it next time.

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