Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Baptismal Regeneration 11 -- Epiphany Not Cause and Effect pt.2

My view that the sacraments are epiphanies is shaped by the work of Alexander Schmemann. His book For The Life of the World is a must read (I mean it -- everyone should have it in the library).

Schemann roots his sacramental theology all the way back to the creation. He argues that the creation itself was intended (pre-fall) to be a sacrament -- an epiphany that discloses God to his people. At the heart of how this was to happen was by humanity receiving creation as GIFT and then offering it back with THANKSGIVING.

Christ came not so much to take people to heaven (I am planning on going to heaven when die, so lets not get sidetracked here.) but to redeem all of creation. Jesus did not live, die, rise and ascend to start a new religion, he did these things -- in the words of Schmemann -- for the life of the world.

At the heart of the Missio Dei and the work of Christ is the goal of redeeming all of creation, or as Revelation says, making all things new. The sacraments are place where God infuses his creation with his glory that we might participate in it now. The sacraments are the place where "the curtain is pulled back" on this reality.

This is why the prayer of consecration at Holy Communion is called "The Great Thanksgiving."

More to come ....

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