Eucharistic Ethics

The Covid-19 Chronicles : Reflections in a Pandemic, Part 7

In my last essay, Eucharistic Fasting, I attempted to explain from Lutheran first principles the reasons for my congregation’s abstaining from the Sacrament during this time of CoV-2 quarantine. It drew considerable discussion, both positively and negatively. Some of the criticism surprised me, coming from people with whom I normally agree. It was not my intention to pass judgment on the decisions of others nor to imply that I was “right” and others were “wrong.” As I read and thought through the responses, I considered that our situation might profitably be viewed through the lens of ethics.

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Word and Prayer

The Covid-19 Chronicles : Reflections in a Pandemic, Part 4

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day….” Revelation 1:10

John was in exile on the island of Patmos, a bishop separated from his congregations. He had neither pulpit nor altar. It was Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the Day of Resurrection. What was John to do on his island of exile? John prayed. He was “in the Spirit,” worshipping in spirit and truth.

When the church is gathered as a body, we speak of “Word and Sacrament.” This is what the gathered church is gathered around – the preaching of the Word, the Breaking of the Bread, and the communal prayers of the church (Acts 2:42). This is the church’s koinonia, her common life together. But what happens when the church is scattered, for whatever reason, be it persecution or pestilence? What then?

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