Saturday, August 31st
Luke 22:19 NRSV
Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
As Jesus shared his last Passover meal with his disciples, he instructed them to keep sharing the bread and wine together, and to remember him when doing so. Since then, people all over the world continue to gather for this meal, sharing the bread and wine and remembering Jesus. This sacramental meal has become very meaningful for much of humanity. When people speak of their personal experiences and their understandings of Communion, one can see the rich significance this sacrament holds in a variety of ways.
What if Jesus also gave us this sacrament to serve as a starting point? When Jesus tells us to break bread and drink wine, he is inviting us to gather together. And when we want to get to know people, what do we usually do? We invite them to a meal! Communion serves as a connecting point to begin building relationships with one another and to grow as a community of Christ. Communion and community are closely connected words.
In his book, A Bigger Table, John Pavlovitz describes Jesus as a table setter:
“What struck me when I began to read the Gospel stories was Jesus’ table ministry, the way he so often used the act of sharing a meal, the act of breaking bread, as a way of letting people know they were seen and heard and known and respected… The table was an altar around which he welcomed the world to experience communion with God and with one another.”¹
If Communion is a starting point, then what we do between meals becomes very important. Imagine Jesus at his last Passover meal with the disciples. They were friends, they were connected, they had worked and served, they had struggled and prayed, they had fed and healed. That last meal together was so much more than a get-acquainted dinner. If we connect at the Communion table but then go our own ways until the next meal, are we getting to know one another better? Are we serving others together? Are we studying, praying, listening, or helping one another? If not, we will gather as strangers again for the next meal.
We have thought about food quite a bit this week. What we do between meals makes an important difference, too!
And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
Thanks for reading.
¹Pavlovitz, John. (2017). A Bigger Table. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press
Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash
I truly loved this one today! Communion is the one thing l really miss! I love that the Lutheran Church has it each week and it is the best meal of the week! The Baptist Church ( that comes here each Sunday) has it once every 2 months. My Pastor comes about every month and we share this wonderful gift from Jesus and l am filled! Yesterday l didn’t get back to you but the peace that passes understanding is one of God’s greatest gifts the Spirit gives us and it does flow freely when we face the things that are eating us! I “ put in the armor of God” sometimes daily, because those things that eat at us are the devils handiwork and l recognize him! His attack mode is stealthy but when he rears his ugly head God is faithful to hold out His hand and We leave Satan in the dust! Blessings and a Safe Holiday weekend❣️❣️🙏🙏🤗
Amen, my friend. Thanks for your enthusiasm for all of life! May your weekend bring much joy! ❤
This devotional touches me on so many levels…so many remembrances of meals shared over the years with people no longer here…either moved away or now in glory, such as my parents. Sharing a meal together is a holy gathering on many levels. I remember when mom had Alzheimer’s and I was feeling forgotten by God,as my prayers went as far as the ceiling and fell back onto my head and Heaven was silent and I was depressed and exhausted. My church family was also silent. Through a process that I cannot fully understand, I left my church for a neighborhood Lutheran church, where the Sacrament was received each week. And in kneeling along the rail to receive the Body and Blood,I realized that he was not absent and each week I looked forward to this special meeting…and then I could begin to sense his presence elsewhere. Now today, I am preparing a meal for a boy (young man actually) who was for some years in my Sunday School class; he went to college and lost his faith there. We’ve kept in touch. We talk occasionally on the faith but on other things also and I told him that I’m praying for his return, but even if he never returns, I’ll love him forever. So he and his wife have been here several times for a meal. I like to cook, mostly Mediterranean but also Central European. Last time I made Spanish paella since I studied and lived there when a young man. His wife is from the Dominican Republic, so I could welcome her in Spanish. I also studied and lived in Austria and Germany and was recently in Germany to hike there with Spanish friends and acted as a Spanish to German to Spanish translator, and this time I decided on a German/Hungarian menu with beef goulash and German red cabbage. I put the beef into the slow cooker overnight and it smells wonderful! Now for the red cabbage preparation and coffee that I brought home from Germany. They’re bringing wine. It will be sacred as we gather to break bread; I’ll pray and we’ll tuck in to a meal…will we speak of spiritual things? Don’t know–that’s up to them if they want…but even if we don’t, I know the Lord will be a silent listener and my prayers for them will be answered.
Dan, I just found your comment “waiting for approval” from me- sorry I didn’t see this until now! I appreciate your stories of life and faith. It IS a sacred event to break bread together. Thank you for your insights and experiences,