Home > Orthodoxy > The Body and Blood, Tree and the Fruit, Christ and the Cross

The Body and Blood, Tree and the Fruit, Christ and the Cross

“Take, Eat” is the title of today’s blog from Glory to God for All Things. In it he talks about this command and what it means to us. He talks about the Eucharist in general, and the Orthodox understanding of it. He talks about the Eucharist being a ‘normative means’ of the grace of God (do not mistakenly interpret ‘normative means’ as the only means). He talks about the Eucharist in terms of creation and the fall, and re-creation and our redemption.

Some memorable passages from his post:

…. It is not only a simple commandment but reverses the oldest of prohibitions in man’s story with God. We refused to keep the proper fast in the Garden, eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil when we had been told it was the only tree from which we were not to eat.

Left untouched was the Tree of Life. To guard that tree, and to prevent man from becoming an everlasting, unrepentant demon, we were cast out of the Garden and an angel with a flaming sword was set to guard the tree’s approach. Of course, we now understand that the Cross is itself the Tree of Life, and Christ Himself is the Life that hangs from that Tree.

It is the fruit of the Tree of Life that is brought forth in the Cup in the Holy Eucharist. The doors of the iconostasis are opened (like the very gates of paradise) and the Deacon comes forth chanting, “In the fear of God, with faith and love draw near.” The Banquet of Life begins.


Take, eat. It is a simple commandment. But it gives us what had once been forbidden. It teaches us as well how grace is generally received. It comes to us in cup and spoon, in oil and water, in smoke and fragrance. In the bowing of the head or the prostration of our bodies. It comes to us in our words of forgiveness for another and in the daily rituals of kindness we perform for one another.

Read it all. It is well worth it, if for no other reason than to gain an understanding of Orthodox belief about the Eucharist.

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