Week Two: Chapter Two, Communion with Christ
1. What part of this chapter truly stood out for you, caught your attention, or raised new questions for you?
2. Have you had an experience where you recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread? In the eucharistic service, in the gathered community, or in some other way? Have you had a particularly transcendent experience of God’s presence in worship?
3. Read Luke 24:13-35, the story of the walk to Emmaus. How has your practice of sharing in Eucharist strengthened you for daily life, given your insight into how Jesus was present to you in times of grief or trouble, or sent you out from the service with a glad heard, wanting to share good news with others? How has sharing in eucharist shaped you over time?
4. Gatta talks about the “Sharing,” “Participation,” “Fellowship,” or “Communion” that we share in the eucharist. All of these are translations of the Greek word koinonia, or communion, which is also a word theologians have used to describe the inner life of the trinity: the persons of the trinity share in a fellowship of love together. At their best, churches share koinonia, a fellowship of love. When have you seen the church at its best, expressing this kind of fellowship that is nourished by Christ’s loving offering of himself?
5. Gatta quotes the second-century theologian Justin Martyr as saying, “We do not receive these things [i.e., the bread and wine of the eucharist] as common bread or common drink.” How is the bread and wine of the eucharist different from an ordinary offering of hospitality through food and drink?
6. Gatta says, “Once we have become part of a community of faith … we need to settle in.” She describes the frictions that some experience in the church as a way that God can work on our own imperfections if we are open to God’s grace. How have the difficult parts of being part of a church opened your heart to new gifts of the spirit?