This world, this created world, is gift. It is given.
It is given to make God known to man, to make man’s life a communion with God.
We depend on the world to live. We take the world into our bodies and transform it into life.
“It is divine love made food, made life for man. God blesses everything he creates, and, in biblical language, this means that he makes all creation the sign and means of his presence and wisdom, love and revelation: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good.'” ~ Alexander Schmemann
We were intended to take the world into ourselves and transform it into life, offering that life back to God in praise and gratitude. We were intended to be priests, offering the gift of the world back to God as a eucharist, a communion.
Then man fell and communion was broken. Man ceased to be hungry for God and began to be hungry for creation itself. Man stopped being the priest of the world and became, instead, its slave.
This, then, is the original sin. Not that man disobeyed God but that we no longer hunger for him alone.
Then Christ came and took this world into his perfect body, transforming it into perfect life, and offered that life back to God as a eucharistic offering.
Christ restored our communion with God, our priesthood of the world.
“…in Christ, life – life in all its totality – was returned to man, given again as sacrament and communion, made Eucharist.” ~ Alexander Schmemann
Now we, the Church, come together and take the bread and the wine. We offer to God the food we must eat in order to live as a way of offering our whole selves, our life, our world.
We enter into the kingdom of God as we partake of the Eucharist. We enter, however briefly, into the world to come, our world perfected. Our very world is right now perfected in Christ, even as we are still waiting.
The bread and wine, therefore, that is given to be transformed into life, that is given to be offered back to God, that is given to bring us into communion with him,
this very food of the new heavens and the new earth is Christ himself.
“He is our bread – because from the very beginning all our hunger was a hunger for him and all our bread was but a symbol of him, a symbol that had to become reality.” ~ Alexander Schmemann
Christ came and lived a perfect life, taking the world into himself as food and transforming it into his life, his life as perfect communion with God.
Now he shares his glorified and perfected life with us, saying, “Take, eat.”
To hear my blog post read aloud, just click the play button. If you’re reading this in an email, you may have to click here to hear the post on my site.
The ideas contained within this post come primarily from For the Life of the World by Alexander Schmemann