Our third holy habit is breaking bread which I began to talk about last Sunday.
I am struck by the idea that when I bought the bread for communion last Sunday at Tescos, I would not have bought bread that had already been broken. Only a whole loaf can be sold but it can’t be shared until it is broken.
It reminds us that Jesus had to be broken – killed – for us to share in the salvation he offers.
The breaking of bread for the early church had this element – it was a solemn celebration and reminder that Jesus suffered death on a cross for us, he was broken for us. It also drew them closer to each other in the communion of believers. The bread was broken to be shared and all believers were welcome, whatever their background. They were all equal to receive. Broken people receiving the broken bread which symbolises the broken body of Jesus.
The disciples broke bread together regularly and it was this simple meal that had very little of our traditions and rituals. Now, I’m not saying these are wrong, some are very helpful, but they can’t become more central than the meal itself revealing Jesus himself.
Whether we come forward, have a small shot glass, have one loaf or wafers and all the other stuff isn’t important. It’s our hearts as we come to give thanks, remembering and see Jesus revealed.
It’s an open invitation to encounter the revealed Jesus so please don’t wait until the third Sunday of each month. Break bread and share in the meal with other followers whenever you can.
Jesus gave his instructions at the Lord’s Supper and I believe they involve this idea that whenever you are eating with other followers of Jesus you break bread to remind ourselves that the revealed Jesus is amongst us and that we give thanks for his death. We are reminded we need his grace.
So, at its heart communion reveals Christ and it is an invitation to encounter God through His son Jesus who is revealed to us. Wow – what an invitation! It’s the greatest invite ever offered. We don’t deserve it but we should willingly receive it with our hearts surrendered to God.