|Friends in Christ
The Lord's Supper
Friends in Christ, May 12, 2002
Physical Bread, Spiritual Bread
Jesus came and ate our physical bread; he invites us to join with him and eat his spiritual bread:
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35, NRSV*)
Just as we need physical bread to stay physically alive and healthy, so we need spiritual bread - Jesus ever present - to stay spiritually alive and healthy.
In asking us to eat our bread in remembrance of him, he is asking us to make him part of everyday life. As we eat food every day and drink every day, so every day we are asked to be in communion with him, remembering him.
Following Jesus is not something we're asked to do once a week in a specialized setting. Our day-to-day life can be imbued with his holiness. Taking communion is more than a ritual of melting a special wafer on one's tongue: communion is common, ordinary bread eaten everyday in regular settings. If we truly thought about Jesus every time we ate, would the world be transformed?
...one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:3, NRSV*)
Give us each day our daily bread. (Luke 11:3, NRSV*) Bread of the world and bread of God.
Lord, we eat physical food (almost) every day, three times or more a day, but we confess that we do not nourish ourselves with your word as often as we should. As we gather together to break bread in your name, we ask to be as the early disciples, who "broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts." (Acts 2:46, NIV*)
Let us take this time to make our hearts glad and sincere. To make our hearts pure, we take this time to come before you, acknowledging that we have not loved you as we should. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. (1 Corinthians 11: 28, NRSV*)
But when you ask for something, you must have faith and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like an ocean wave tossed around in a storm. (James 1:6, CEV*)
Lord, where has our faith fallen short and doubt taken hold?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 Peter 1:3, NRSV*)
Lord, where have we failed to express this living hope in our lives?
Love is kind and patient,
never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.
Love isn't selfish or quick tempered.
It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do.
Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.
Love is always supportive,
loyal, hopeful, and trusting.
Love never fails!
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, CEV*)
Lord, where has our love fallen short?
Silence, sharing of confession
As we eat and drink, we remember that the bread - the presence - of Jesus will enlarge the harvest of our righteousness.
God gives seed to farmers and provides everyone with food. He will increase what you have, so that you can give even more to those in need. You will be blessed in every way, and you will be able to keep on being generous. Then many people will thank God when we deliver your gift. (2 Corinthians 9:10-11, CEV*)
During the meal Jesus took some bread in his hands. He blessed the bread and broke it. Then he gave it to his disciples and said, "Take this and eat it. This is my body." (Matthew 26:26, CEV*)
Sharing of the bread
Jesus picked up a cup of wine and gave thanks to God. He then gave it to his disciples and said, "Take this and drink it. This is my blood, and with it God makes his agreement with you. It will be poured out, so that many people will have their sins forgiven. From now on I am not going to drink any wine, until I drink new wine with you in my Father's kingdom." (Matthew 26:27-29, CEV*)
Sharing of the fruit of the vine
Prayer of Thanksgiving and Hope
Lord, we thank you for your loving presence in our lives. As we remind ourselves of your gentle ever-presence in our daily lives, help us to remember you as we go about our simple tasks. Help us now to thank you for all the blessings you have poured out upon us.
Open sharing of thanks and hope
* New Revised Standard Version, © by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. New International Version (NIV) © by the International Bible Society. Contemporary English Version (CEV) © by the American Bible Society
©2002 Friends in Christ, Inc.
Friends in Christ, Inc.