Sunday, April 11, 2010

In the Bread

Maybe it's not in the rolls or the buns.

Maybe it's in the bread, specifically the breaking of it. That means it got shared and passed around.

That's how the two discouraged folks walking to Emmaus recognized the traveler who joined them and the one who sat down to break bread with them at the evening meal: Jesus.

Jesus raised by God from the dead. Read about it in Luke 24:13-35.

In addition to the little creeds and psalms written to be sung (see Philippians 2:5-11, for example) and said whenever they got together, the followers of Jesus broke bread and shared the cup of wine, those ritual elements of the Passover meal given to his closest disciples as the sign of a new covenant: the sacrifice of his body and blood for them. For you and me.

In the earliest life and worship of the communities of Christ followers, the bread and cup were shared in the context of a meal. As with everything, the meal occasionally lost its way and needed to be redirected in people's minds (1 Cor. 11:23 and following verses). It really was about discerning the presence of Christ in people's daily lives--especially in the sharing of what has come to be called Holy Communion.

It's not to be locked away in some church closet, hidden behind screens and veils blocking the altar. It's not to be a commodity that the church sells or withholds. It's to be a gift of love that people share in faith.

As at the feeding of the 5,000, all are to eat and be satisfied and filled. And what remains are the fragments that when gathered amount to way more than we ever started out with.

I know of no other bread like that. He lives!

Thanks be to God!


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