Gospel processionRecently I’ve been involved in several discussions, including around the viral video “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus” both here and at other parts of the internet (as well as in first life).

There is a tendency amongst many to think that first there is the Bible. An individual reads or hears words from the Bible and is converted and becomes a Christian. Then individual Christians join together for mutual support and form a church. Wanting to worship, they look to the Bible for help and from it construct how to worship, including that Christ commands repeating the Last Supper, and from the Bible these Christians then construct how to do this repetition.

The reality, of course, is quite different. The Christian community, the church, has had its ongoing worshipping life from the time of Christ and, through him and his earliest followers, back on into the history of God’s worshipping people for millennia. The documents we bind together (with some differences), into what we call the Bible, are those used in this worship. The Eucharist is not drawn from the Bible, rather the Bible reflects the eucharistic practices of the early church which long antedate the documentation, going back into the practice of our Lord himself. The narratives in our historic Eucharistic Prayers are not derived from the Bible. Just as the biblical narratives differ from each other, so the liturgical narratives have their own history.

The Bible is part of our worship as Christians, it is not the sole source of our worship.

image: Sr Kalolaine CSN a Tongan Anglican sister working at St. Christopher’s Home in Suva bears the Bible for the reading of the Gospel in the Eucharist.

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