Thank you to those who responded to my comment on the very ‘Zwinglian’ Lord’s Supper I endured a couple of weeks ago in Washington DC. My friend, Curtis Freeman, and others, suggested a dialogue – campaign? – to change the attitudes of truly baptistic churches. So, here is my resolution for 2009 – to engage in that dialogue via means of this blog and to make it a theme in the theological forum at Amsterdam 400.
For the benefit of new readers let me assure you we have a weekly celebration of the Eucharist at IBTS (was it not the great Jean Calvin, beloved of some, who said “infrequent celebration of the Eucharist is the very work of the devil?” – though, of course, he said it in French.).
At the church to which I belong, Šárka Valley Community Church, we also have a weekly breaking of bread – in an Agape meal (how did the meal between the breaking of the bread and the sharing of the up of blessing disappear from the life of the church? This ought to be a theme for our dialogue), a full Eucharistic celebration with a proper prayer of thanksgiving, a celebration in the mid week Bible study and a service of evening prayer in the style of Táize with communion.
So, thankfully, at least some of us live and worship amongst baptists who read not only Zwingli – what he said, not how his followers behaved, Hubmaier and Spurgeon – all of whom had a much higher and fuller view of what belongs in true Eucharistic worship than the apparently Baptist norm in the west. Slavic baptists, despite their apparent Zwinglian language practice a very sacramental approach to the meal.
So, from the land of the chalice and the plate, may the dialogue go on!