Christ's presence in the Lord's Supper

Hello everyone.

I wanna discuss a topic with you, even though it’s not strictly related with the main focus of this forum. It’s about the presence of the Lord Jesus in the Lord’s Supper. In Christianity we have two major ways to intend Jesus’ presence during the Communion:

  1. Real presence, the belief according which the bread and the wine are real transformed in the body and blood of Christ. This view is held by Catholics, Orthodox and some Protestants (like Lutherans).
  2. Spiritual presence, the belief according which the Lord is present only in a spiritual way during the Supper and the bread and wine are only a symbol of Christ’s body and blood. This view is held by the majority of Protestants.

I used to believe in the spiritual presence of Jesus in the Lord’s Supper, but now I see rooms for believing in the real presence of Christ.
What do think about it? And why?

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I wonder if real presence and spiritual presence are the best way to put it, as many see the spiritual as no less real. As I understand it, the Catholic belief is that the molecular structure of the bread does not become flesh, yet it becomes Christ’s flesh in essence while still remaining bread. Same with the wine.
I am in the symbolic camp, and the most meaningful way I see it is not that the wine becomes blood, but that Christ’s blood becomes wine. The forbidden symbol of life becomes that which may be freely taken by all who believe.

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I see the bread and wine simply as symbolic of Christ’s body and blood. I don’t feel that it would need to be transformed in any way, spiritually or physically, for the purpose of communion to be fully observed. But that may depend on your expectations or theology of communion.

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That’s how I’ve seen it as well – purely symbolic. I’ve come to realize that some of the more liturgical denominations believe there is some kind of “presence” involved in communion even though they don’t believe in transubstantiation. A pastor relative of mine in the Church of the Nazarene has referred to it as a “means of grace.”

I take a traditional Wesleyan-Methodist view on the presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. We follow the Protestant-Anglican-Lutheran view of it as in that the Body and Blood of Christ is truly present within the elements of the bread and juice but we (confessional traditional Methodist such as myself) state this to be a mystery of faith in how the Body and Blood of Christ are within the elements and how they confer grace to the recipient, we just accept it as it is without to much a deep philosophical theology on the issue. The UMC is very open and broad in the views of the Lord’s Supper and as such it depends on who you ask despite our Eucharistic liturgy confirming the real presence of the Lord Christ Jesus within the elements. Also Scripture states that Christ really meant what he meant in both Matt. 26:26-28 and mostly in John 6:47-51, 53-58. Just my take and understanding of it from both Scripture and church tradition.

While I am convinced that it is symbolic, I respect those who think otherwise.

But I do think that it is unnecessarily divisive to demand one view or the other.

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“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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