Dear Friends in Christ,
I would like to share with you a writing by Donald Austin Stivers.
The Future of the Church:
It is important to note the worry about the helplessness of the Church to “meet the spiritual needs” of its members is being done by those who live outside the centrality of the Eucharistic life in Christ. A result of a type of Christianity that discounts the significance of the Blessed Sacrament and sees it only as an ordinance to be observed because Jesus suggested it is that it becomes focused on meeting the needs of its members, one of which is the need to be entertained. In the days when there was little entertainment of a puritanical attitude that shunned it as being too worldly, worship with a long sermon became the entertainment of the community. All attempts of such bodies to innovate new ways of entertainment are in stiff competition with the secular glut of it. Trying to imitate those ways with a religious bent to them fail miserably.
That is why over the years the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper with its central purpose the worship of God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit has been the glue for those cells in the body that are faithful to it. It is beyond entertainment and expresses the very essence of what it means to belong to the Body of Christ.
I have no doubt that the Eucharistic renaissance in the Church is a work of the Holy Spirit to provide the way serious Christians can indeed minister to each other and to the world. In times past, the meaning of the Holy Eucharist was obscured by elaborate musical entertainment or delicate choreography of sacred ministers, providing only a spectacle for those who came to worship. Or, for those churches that still regarded it as a sacrament, it was done very seldom. In our own communion, the Oxford Movement called us back to more frequent use and the Liturgical Movement, shared by many churches, awakened us to the corporate nature of worship.
Peace and blessings,