Tom Wright has written a short and helpful book on the meaning of Communion with good explanations of the terms and structure of the service. He begins by imaginatively describing the background to how the Jesus meal began. Then he goes on to explore and teach the meaning of Communion and recommend a pattern to be followed.
The author explains the understanding of Communion that came from the Reformation, and laments the ‘family row’ between Protestants and Catholics over theological interpretations. Reconciling differing and deeply held views is always challenging, and I appreciated the author’s aspiration for unity through this unique meal. Yet, at the same time, I saw a potential weakness in the book where sometimes strong opinions were revealed on the ‘right way’ to do things.
Wright is at his best in the use of story to draw us in to experience the presence of Jesus; his love, forgiveness and peace. That is what many believers are supremely seeking today: the mystery and ever-present power of Jesus, the bread of life, who strengthens us by his Spirit.
PAUL VALLER is a mentor, author and speaker