Friday, September 28, 2007

An Economy of Eucharist

I must admit I am no expert in the science of economics. Far from it. Actually, it's one of the few subjects that has almost no appeal to my interest. But it is a hot topic amongst Christian Anarchists, and rightly so, because an alternative political model requires an alternative economy. Or at least an alternative way of looking at how goods should be made, distributed and consumed, apart from the control of the wealthy and powerful.
I cannot bring the subject of economics to mind without going back to something I read years ago, in an introduction to a study of Eucharistic Liturgy by Dom Gregory Dix. I never read the whole study, unfortunately, but that bit in the introduction made an indelible impression upon my memory. He writes about how the Lord's Supper is a model for a perfect society, where each member contributes according to his or her calling and each member is fed by the collective goods freely offered by the community, but this is all done in the context of God's provision of redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ communicated in the broken bread and poured out wine. "The gifts of God, for the people of God". He writes, "Over and against the dissatisfied 'Acquisitive Man' and his no less avid successor the dehumanised 'Mass Man' of our economically focussed societies insecurely organised for time, christianity sets the type of 'Eucharistic Man'- man giving thanks with the products of his labor upon the gifts of God, and daily rejoicing with his fellows in the worshipping society which is grounded in eternity. This is man to whom it was promised on the night before Calvary that he should henceforth eat and drink at the table of God and be a king. That is not only a more joyful and more humane ideal. It is the divine and only authentic conception of the meaning of all human life, and its realization is in the eucharist." (Dom Gregory Dix in "The Shape of the Liturgy")
That is all I have to offer in my ignorance of the subject. Just an alternative way of looking at things. And pondering them. And perhaps this seeming Utopian ideal can bring about change for the better, not in simply offering a romantic model for restructuring communities, but in restructuring our priorities, and thus affecting our actions towards our neighbors.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Ministers of Vengeance

Wow, my first post has already got a comment. Its the big one, of course, Romans 13, the mainstay of Constantinian Christianity. I will write a quick answer now, and more when time allows. Thanks, "me", for the interest.

Romans 13 must be understood in light of Romans 12. We are simply commanded not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good. This includes how we confront the powers that be. We do not resist them by military rebellion. Bringing them down is God's job and as he ordains them to judge the wicked, he'll do that when he's ready. Rulers serve at an entirely different altar, that of vengeance, while we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. Christian anarchism seeks to disengage from entanglement with these institutions and offer an alternative society, based upon the mercy we have received rather than the penalty reserved for the wicked.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Merry Day

Here is a song for my first post that my husband and I wrote together, and from which I got my title.

Sing, O merry day,
Brother sun, lend your ray,
Smile upon this happy morn
For to us a babe is born.

And you, child, shall be called
Beloved of the Most High God,
To join that ever youthful throng
A singer of hosanna's song


Take up your palm and shepherd's staff,
Beckon the lion, bear and calf
And lead them to that holy hill
Where none shall ever hurt or kill.


For the Prince of Peace has ridden by
And thrown down mountains lifted high
And raised the lowly, poor and least
To sit beside him at his feast.


The battle's won, so run and play,
Teach us to put our swords away
And lift our hands to take instead
A kingdom, in this broken bread