Friday, May 9, 2008

Individualism & The Sacraments

The consuming individual is not likely to grasp the depth of mystery involved in either sacrament because they each involve a radical re-orientation from the self to God and the church. Baptism is reduced to a marker of ones salvation with Jesus. Baptism as the initiation into the visible and invisible body of Christ, where one takes on a new identity is diminished. And where that connection has not been severed the individual may still view it as a membership card to the communion club.

Communion for individuals is likely seen as celebration of the personal relationship. It is an acknowledgment of God’s hospitality, but only to the one. In a certain scene on an airplane in the film Fight Club, the main character remarks to another, that he is the most interesting “single-serving friend” he has ever met because all food on airplanes are packaged for the individual. Reflecting on Bellah’s lifestyle enclave and the cubed communion bread in so many churches, it seems all too easy connection that those we dine with as the body of Christ are reduced to “single serving friends.” Communion becomes concerned with remembering what Jesus did for me, not re-membering of the body of Christ.