Eucharist and Justice

This theology of the Eucharist, which I am offering to you today, or sketching out with you today, therefore is extremely closely conjoined with a holistic view of mission. Of the mission of God in the world, which is of course all about the challenge to you and you and you and you to repent, to believe, to accept Jesus, to know him for yourself, to rejoice in His salvation, in and through your whole being. But also simultaneously and for the same reasons, the challenge for you to become agents of new creation, where there is hunger, where there is poverty, where there is injustice, where there is danger anywhere in the world.

And, as I said before, this is because God's work in the world is never merely pragmatic. It isn't just we can organize a program to go and do this. If you think you can do God's work like that read the lives of people like Wilberforce and think again. You can't. You need prayer, you need the sacraments, you need that patient faithfulness, because we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and the world rulers of this present darkness.

Read some of the great Christian biographies and see how they did it. Read about Desmond Tutu. Who would have thought forty years ago that at the start of the 21st century there would be a black archbishop of Cape Town chairing a commission for truth and reconciliation listening to white thugs and black thugs confess their sin? Who would have thought that? But God had other ideas, because that black archbishop used to spend three or four hours on his knees every morning, day after day and week after week, and get other to do the same, and was living the life of the sacramental life of the church and claiming the victory of Jesus over the principalities and powers.

You can't do it by just a little bit more politicizing, social techniques. You can only do it through being energized in the sacramental and prayerful life of the church, whatever the "it" is that you have to do.

-NT Wright

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