Fr Aidan over at Eclectic Orthodoxy is in a wonderful series on the Eucharist, not a subject on the top of the list for most Evangelicals. It would be nice to see that change since so much of our larger cosmology and beliefs about divine-human relationality (even re: the eschatological destiny of creation) can be manifest in how we view the bread and the cup of communion. I’ve posted my thoughts to a particular post of his and thought I’d put them up here as well. But you’ll have to read his post to get the context of my comments.
As I understand what Fr Aidan has shared, I’d want to say that what he describes as becoming true of the relationship between the glorified humanity of Christ and the bread and wine in the Eucharist, is in my view already true universally, so that in the Eucharist we are celebrating what is everywhere true and not what becomes true on occasion. I’m open to changing my mind, but that’s where I am at present. Everything he says about the union of the world in Christ’s resurrected humanity as ‘occurring’ in the Eucharist I’d want to say occurs universally as a consequence of Incarnation/resurrection and that the Eucharist is simply where and how we declare “here and now” what is in fact true everywhere about everything.
But this means the entire created order, via Incarnation, really is Christ’s body—now. The Church is just where that body gets steadily transformed into the full exercise of its God-given capacities for relationship with God. Why isn’t the whole universe now as immortal and gloried as Christ now is? Good question. I think the answer may be because in the end the universal body that Christ seeks is the concrete union of hypostatically (‘personally’, if I may) distinct others. This means the glorification of the rest of the material order awaits the hypostatic (freely personal) surrender of all human beings. When we are sufficiently defined in our own personal reality by the transcendent reality of Christ’s risen presence (i.e., beatific vision), glorification follows, but it’s not that we ‘become’ his body; it’s that our understanding and perceptions of ourselves catch up to the truth of his already abiding presence. So the Eucharist is a celebration that declares this to be so, not an event which achieves a divine presence not already the case everywhere.
I don’t know if this makes me Orthodox or a heretic. It’s certainly more than your common Evangelical ‘memorializing’ of a past event.