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Series 1 - Lesson 4 - Annotation 15

Series 1 - Lesson 4 - Annotation 15

Explain the symbols of the Lord's Supper.

15. The truth taught is that man is saved, freed from his troubles and shortcoming, through appropriating the substance (bread) and life (wine) of Spirit. Questioned when teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum, Jesus declared, "I am the living bread which came down out of heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever; yea and the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world." -- John 6:51. Jesus is here referring not to His personal self but to that I AM as the bread of life.

The symbols used in the Lord's Supper are bread and wine. Bread is sometimes called "the staff of life," that which is substantial in food, that which gives solidity to the diet. Metaphysically it represents the substance of God in which inhere perfect elements or ideas necessary for spiritual growth. Wine is a stimulant which enlivens the action of the physical heart and the blood. Metaphysically it symbolizes the quickening power of Spirit circulating through every cell of the physical body, vitalizing and sustaining it. The Christ body, comprising both substance and life, is intelligently appropriated by the individual through affirmation, meditation, and contemplation, the Silence and in action. We "eat" when we appropriate God ideas with our understanding. We "drink" when we accept them through faith in God. The process of physical eating had its counterpart in the Eucharist. The Word, which is the bread of life, is

(1) Received in the head (mind), as food is received in the mouth.

(2) Analyzed intellectually, as food is masticated in the mouth.

(3) Dropped from the head to the heart, in the same way that food is swallowed into the stomach.

(4) Contemplated in the heart, as food is slowly digested in the stomach.

(5) Established in the consciousness in the same way that food is assimilated and incorporated into blood, bone, muscle, and tissue. "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).

Preceding Entry: What does water baptism symbolize?
Following Entry: Explain why and when the use of symbols becomes unnecessary.