Memory or Sacrament
I went to a class at the School of Christian Mission (sponsored by our WV UMW) called "I Believe in Jeus." It was based on the book (of the same name) written by Bishop Minera G. Carcano. She is the Bishop of the Desert Southwest Conference of the UM Church. Now that I see her picture, I think I may have heard her speak in person at the Youth 2007 event, SPLAT.
The class was taught by the Rev. Dr. John Hardman. He said today that communion is becoming more memorial than sacrament. I wrote that phrase down for later thought.
memorial: 1 : serving to preserve remembrance : commemorative 2 : of or relating to memory
sacrament: a Christian rite (as baptism or the Eucharist) that is believed to have been ordained by Christ and that is held to be a means of divine grace or to be a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality
Do you agree with his statement?
I think at our church communion has come to mean that members can choose to stay or leave on communion Sundays. Sometimes I think in our church it is an extra, a bother or even a nuisance.
But what does it mean that it might be a memorial rather than a sacrament?
The definition of sacrament refers to a "means of grace." God is involved in communion. We can remember God without ever really becoming engaged with him. A sacrament requires engagement.
A memorial remembers something that is over, history. A sacrament celebrates a living God.
Is that what we want to celebrate, or do we want to allow communion to become just memory?