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Monday, November 14, 2005

Peterson on the Lord's Supper: The Missing Metaphor of the Feast at the End of Time

My entry at the CICW Worship Weblog on our staff discussion of Eugene Peterson's new book Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places includes a wrapup of this point:

2. Martha Moore-Keish connects the Eucharist and eschatology in A More Profound Alleluia. She writes:

Many biblical writers present the picture of God’s ultimate reign as that of a great feast at the end of time, when ‘many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 8:11). So from earliest days the community has been necessary for celebration of the Eucharistic meal, and the Eucharist has provided a foretaste of the eschatological feast of the Lamb (Rev 19:9). (p. 116)

Are there any eschatological undertones in Peterson’s description of the Lord’s Supper? Any hints of how it foreshadows “a great feast at the end of time”? Or are these two accounts (M-K and EP) of the Lord’s Supper mostly distinct?

Mary said an eschatological undertone to Peterson’s section would have strengthened it. She said that after the passage on brokenness at the top of page 211, she wrote in the margin, “When does it get better?” She added that the sacrament “has to be pointing to wholeness.”

I added that since the feast image is a rare example of a simple and enticing picture that captures the otherwise daunting and metaphysically elusive concepts of eschatology, it would have been useful to pick up on in this chapter.

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