10 After the Eucharist
10:1 After the Eucharist when you are filled, give thanks this way:
10:2 We thank you, holy Father, for your holy name which you enshrined in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality that you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be the glory forever.
10:3 You, Master Almighty, have created all things for your name’s sake. You gave food and drink to all people for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to you; but to us you freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Jesus, your servant.
10:4 Before all things we thank you because you are mighty. To you be the glory forever.
10:5 Remember, Lord, your church. Deliver it from all evil and make it perfect in your love, and gather it from the four winds sanctified for your kingdom which you have prepared for it. For Yours is the power and the glory forever.
10:6 Let grace come, and let this world pass away!
Hosanna to the Son of David! If anyone is holy, let him come; if anyone is not holy, let him repent. Maranatha! Amen.
[10:7 But permit the prophets to make thanksgiving as much as they desire.]
As we continue this study of the Didache, and specifically this look at their understanding of the Eucharist, I still find it fascinating that they make no mention of the cross. This shows us something very crucial—the emphasis on the cross came later. Granted, it wasn’t that much later (the letters of Paul were probably already circulating by now), but the emphasis here seems to be on the reconcilation of humanity (at the least) and all of creation (at the most). We see this in the emphasis on the things G_d has given to us, “food and drink” as well as “spiritual food and drink and eternal life (i.e., the life of the ages).” We see, also, that “knowledge and faith and immortality” were “made known through Jesus.” This is another key point and relates to a series I did on The Goodness of Humanity. Let me explain a little.
The emphasis I make in that series is that, through Jesus, Yahweh reconciled all creation, the entire cosmos, back to G_dself (Colossians 1.19-20; 2 Corinthians 5.18-19). Notice that this was accomplished in the past. This same emphasis is given here in the Teaching. Notice again that “knowledge and faith and immortality” were “made known through Jesus.” These are things Yahweh accomplished “through Jesus.” This points to something Jesus already finished, not something he made a possibility. The emphasis is on the finished work of Yahweh through Jesus and not the ongoing work of the followers of The Way. Our work is in the implementation of what Jesus already brought about.
Once more we see an echo of Jesus’ intention with the prayer in the Didache for a unified people. It begs the question, “How many of us prayer for this type of unity; for this type of oneness?” It seems to have been in the forefront of this little community. Today, we seem content with keeping things they way they are—that group over there and us over here. The prominence for Jesus and this little community is one of unity; that all of us are one. If we haven’t already made this part of our daily prayer, we should start as soon as we can. It makes a difference when we look at the world around us.
And that leads right into the part about “let[ting] this world pass away.” This isn’t about the material world but the manifest world. Let me flesh that out a little.
In Jewish thought, and, therefore, biblical and early Christian, was the material creation was “supremely good.” If the “world” the Didache community is praying for is a completely spiritual world, that is, not a material world (which would be a Gnostic, second century thought); then why would they be praying for “grace to come?” It wouldn’t make any sense. If, on the other hand, they were waiting for a complete manifestation of G_d’s Realm “on earth as in heaven,” then this makes sense. One would pray for “grace to come” and complete the work of Yahweh. The divisions they hinted at previously would be dissolved and the unity they sought would be manifested. To me, this is what they meant. They’re wanting the current systems of this world—the manifestations of divisions and corruptions, etc.—to be dissolved and the final stage of G_d’s Realm to be established (see Revelation 21.1-5). They aren’t wanting to leave this realm; they’re wanting G_d’s Realm to fully come!
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC