Types and shadows

One of the great hymns of the Eucharist speaks of ‘types and shadows’ ending in worship where the heavenly bread of Christ’s body is like the manna sent from the sky to feed the Israelites. The latter is a `type and shadow’ of the former.

In the shadowy world of ancient sacrificial worship Christians trace a pointer towards the once for all death of God’s Son which is the gift of love towards all that is, and to the ongoing pleading of that sacrificial love in the Eucharist.

Shadows point to the light because they are without it. Christ’s sacrifice casts out the darkness which is evil by its overwhelming goodness. We see shadows move on the ground when the sun shines through the clouds but when we fly in a plane above the clouds there are no shadows. To live by faith is to oppose the choice of evil which seems to make holes in God’s goodness. It is a rising to those heights where his light never stops shining.

Just as Israelites had their ‘type and shadow’ of Holy Communion, so we who receive Holy Communion today do so surrounded by the deceptive appearances and ambiguities of a world which looks ‘shadowy’ on account of our perspective. That which seems to be evil seems so on account of that limited perspective which will one day be widened.

O Christ whom now beneath a veil we see, may what we thirst for soon our portion be,
to gaze unveiled on you and see your face, the vision of your glory and your grace.

John Twisleton

Broadcast by The Revd Canon Dr John Twisleton (Rector of St Giles, Horsted Keynes) on Premier Christian Radio DAB Digital Radio Freeview 725/ Sky digital 0123 in London on 1305 1332 /4/3114W