The goal of Paul's work was to start communities, offering a new identity and belonging, and then give the group what they needed to flourish and sustain themselves in an indifferent or sometimes even hostile society.
So wherever Paul went, he invited people to enter a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17)—a community that will live “in Christ” and where the old social, cultural and religious practices (and the worldview and values that legitimated them) were replaced by the new Christian worldview (“the mind of Christ,” 1 Cor. 2:16 and Phil. 2:5), a reversal of the world's values (the “folly of the cross,” 1 Cor 18-25) and a new way of loving service (1 Cor 13). The eucharist was their weekly celebration of their new Christian identity—neither Jew nor Greek, but the brothers and sisters of Jesus who composed the new family of God.
From Paul and the Eucharist: The Heart of Christian Community
By Steve Mueller
©2011 Steve Mueller
Paul and the Eucharist will be available as an e-book in the summer of 2011.