June 17, 2007

Breaking Bread in Remembrance

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The Lord Jesus ... took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it ... 1 Corinthians 11:23-24


The first followers of Christ--the early church--were devoted to the breaking of bread (Acts 2:42). To the casual reader that may sound a bit strange. While devotion to "the apostles' teaching" and to "the fellowship" makes sense (Acts 2:42), the idea of breaking bread can only be understood in the context of Jesus' last supper with his followers on the night before he died. When Jesus broke the bread and poured the wine, he was telling his followers they should never forget that his death was for them--that his sacrifice provided salvation.

Is it any wonder, then, that the church of Jesus Christ is devoted to the breaking of bread? In this simple act, they remember Jesus' sacrifice and proclaim his death until he returns.

Through the simple meal of bread and wine the hearts and lives of Christians are fed and satisfied. While this is a mystery that transcends human understanding, so is the love that caused God to sacrifice his own Son. Salvation is a gift of grace and love from God the Father to his children.

As the church gathers at the table of the Lord, it gathers not as a group of individuals but as a family. The church is a family of orphans who have been adopted by God as his children--brothers and sisters of Christ.

Let us break bread together.

Father, thank you for inviting us to break bread with you and with each other. Fill us and nourish us by your Spirit with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

About the author — Jerry Dykstra

Pastor Jerry Dykstra was recently appointed as the executive director of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. After a 15-year career in business, he trained for pastoral ministry and served as the pastor of Cascade Fellowship CRC, Cascade, Michigan, and Faith Christian Fellowship CRC, Walnut Creek, California. He and his wife, Linda, live in Byron Center, Michigan, and have three children and seven grandchildren.

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