Column by Rev. Deshna Charron Shine on 16 June 2022 0 Comments

The Mystery of Life only allows us to move forward. No matter how much we cling to what was or how much we resist, change is inevitable.

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We were having a discussion at church last night about theism and worship. How is the Eucharist relevant if theism is taken away, or more appropriately, how can our liturgy and worship change to reflect the loss of theism?


Dear Carol,

Thanks for this important question. I believe that the Eucharist is perhaps the most central and important ritual of the Christian faith- and I don’t believe you need to be a theist to experience it as a transformative ritual. At it’s core, the Eucharist is a reminder for Christians of two things: the reality of what Jesus endured in the Gospel stories for his resistance to Empire, and the way we commit to live as followers of Jesus’ way.

As you know, there are many atheists who still honor and learn from the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.  When they come to the Eucharistic table, the invitation for them is the same as the invitation for the most devout theist- to come and reflect on the remarkable sacrifice that Jesus and many others after him offered in their attempt to create a more just and equal world. To reflect upon the brokenness of the systems of our world that respond to calls for grace and justice with injustice and murder. And ultimately, to ask how they might emulate Jesus’ example in their own life, breaking open their hearts and pouring themselves out for the healing of their world.

The Eucharist has always been, first and foremost, a memorial meal to commemorate the life and death of Jesus. One doesn’t need to believe in the theological claims of the Christian faith to meaningfully participate and be transformed by reflecting and remembering the sacrifice of Christ.

~ Rev. Brandan Robertson




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