January 05, 2005

Lamb of God

Reflecting on "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!":

We could begin with some biblical sources:
most obviously Psalms 22 and 23,
more salient:
1. the blood of the lambs on the lintels of the Hebrews doors on the night the firstborn of the Egyptians died.

2. The sacrificial animal slaughtered outside the camp to sacramentally propitiate the sins of the Israelites. Note that the gospel writers were careful to emphasize that Jesus was slaughtered outside Jerusalem.

3. Coming down to the present:
I believe in sin and redemption. The "Lamb of God" in us takes away the sins of our neighbors (wives, friends, enemies) by forgiving them. And works patiently with the hard of heart looking for the redemptive stream in their character.

You've heard (read) this many times before, nevertheless: The Quaker Sacrament

Throughout Eternity I forgive you, you forgive me.
As the dear Redeemer said, This the wine and this the bread.

5 Comments:

At 3:37 PM, Blogger crystal said...

As the dear Redeemer said, This the wine and this the bread.... Larry, do Quakers have communion at their meetings, like catholics?

 
At 5:16 AM, Blogger david said...

Quakers are admitted to the World Council of Churches which has a strict and bureuacratic set of rules about teh practic eof communion as an entrance requirement. We get special dispensation.

WE were involved in the creation of the organization before the entrance ruels were written. But also. Quakers hold to a doctrine of "real presence". Which means -- roughly speaking -- like the Catholics we hold to something like Transubstantiation -- but unlike the Catholics don't feel the bread and wine are needed or useful to the process.

The meeting for worship is an act of Holy Communion. But there are no elements. I ahve heard of a number of Quakers who practice a seder meal at Eastertide. But it is done in Friends homes.

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger Marjorie said...

A book I read about Quakers (written by a Quaker) called it non-sacramental. This may be open to debate, or it may be a matter of semantics -- David did a nice job of explaining how it is, yet isn't, sacramental. Personally, I love the idea that they don't mess with communion/mass. One thing I struggle with is that I know I'm supposed to have some sort of religious experience or response to communion, but I don't. I listen to the prayers and try to focus on it, but I get nothing from it. Makes me really question whether I should be helping to administer it.

 
At 10:59 AM, Blogger Larry said...

Crystal, As David said 'Quakers hold to a doctrine of "real presence"', which means for me that the material substance is no longer necessary. Blake's poem suggests that the communion is acted out by carrying out Jesus' command that we love one another. That is the communion without the outward symbols.

We do sometimes include the symbols, usually at home meetings: there is no priest of course, or speaking biblically we're all priests, so we pass the elements to one another with whatever form of words we feel appropriate.

Marjorie, when we dispense with the priest and with any set "magic words", and offer communion to one another, it can be a moving religious experience. I might be capable of a religious experience at a formal 'mass' on occasions, but I don't think I could with regularity.

 
At 1:56 PM, Blogger crystal said...

Larry said ... 'Quakers hold to a doctrine of "real presence"', which means for me that the material substance is no longer necessary. Blake's poem suggests that the communion is acted out by carrying out Jesus' command that we love one another. That is the communion without the outward symbols.... interesting. I guess catholics think of the words of Jesus - Do this in memory of me (Luke 22:19) - and thusly recreate the actual sharing of the bread/wine. I think the true presence/transubstantiation theory is pretty cool :-)

 

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