Weekly Cannibals

Weekly Cannibals

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One of my Facebook friends, an atheist, referred to Christians as “weekly cannibals.” I don’t know if he believed his own words or was just letting fly his cynicism regarding faith in a deity, but his scorn reminded me that people in the first century accused the brand new church of the same horrible practice. Go back a few years when Jesus spoke of Himself as the Bread of Life, and the mobs looking only for miracles turned away in disgust. (John 6:66)

At the Last Supper, He held up the bread. “Take, eat. This is My Body which is given for you.” Obviously, He didn’t slice flesh off His physical frame and pass it around the table! Yet long after His Resurrection, rumors abounded in the Roman world as to what went on at Eucharist celebrations.

John Piper points to the Body and Blood of Jesus as “the satisfaction of my soul’s thirst and my heart’s hunger.” Christians gain nutrition from the Word, ingesting it, digesting it, and growing in the Spirit because of it. Since Jesus is the Word (John 1:1, 14), does that make them cannibals?

No. Cannibals eat their own kind. Man may be made in the image of God, but humans are not God. Christians want to imitate Christ, but they are not Jesus.

credit to: nleaven.wordpress.com

I hope my friend discovers the truth about the Body and the Blood. I hope he finds the powerful beauty in the bread and the fruit of the vine served in congregations around the world. Regardless of whether a person believes in the mystical transformation of the bread into Christ’s actual Body, or that the elements are symbols of His sacrifice, all Christians revere the holy sacrament instituted by Jesus Himself.

The atmosphere in the church is serious as they obey His commandment, “Do this in remembrance of me.” They remember His sacrifice. They remember the love He demonstrated—still demonstrates—and beneath their solemn reflection hums a joy unspeakable and full of glory!

(featured image credited to Matt Gerlach Photography from flickr.com)




About Linda Sammaritan

For years, Linda Sammaritan tried to be perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect teacher and crammed so many activities into her days that twenty-four hours couldn’t possibly hold them all – perfectly. She now lives by the motto, “relentlessly eliminate hurry.” Newly retired, Linda keeps the freezer packed with homemade take-out meals for her full- time working husband when she travels to visit children, grandchildren, siblings, and Mom. Read more about her faith and writings at www.lindasammaritan.com.


  1. Tina Dorward Tina Dorward says:

    Loved this!

  2. Thank you, Tina. I will always remember the blessed feeling of connection when a Catholic relative realized Communion was as sacred to me, a Protestant, as it was to her.

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