We are in the second week of our sermon series Common Elements, Uncommon Grace. Water, bread, and wine are common pieces of matter that we use all the time, yet in God’s hands they become something incredibly significant, a sign of God’s grace.
Today we talked about bread. Bread was a stable of the ancient world. Bread does not just appear in Jesus’ last Supper with the disciples, God shows grace throughout the Scriptures. God rained down bread from heaven to the Israelites in the wilderness, just enough bread for each day to Elijah and the widow at Zarephath. Jesus fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus sat down at a table to break bread with sinners and tax collectors, including the tax collector Zacchaeus. During Passover, a Jewish celebration of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, Jesus takes bread, gives thanks to God, breaks the bread and gives it to his disciples. He tells them, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this to remember me.”
“Every time you eat bread, remember me.” The bread signifies Jesus’ sacrificial love, offering his whole self for the salvation of the world. The bread reminds us how Jesus is the bread of life, satisfying what nothing else can. When Jesus invites us to remember, on one level, it is an invitation to bring back to the mind and to think of again. It is to think of Jesus’ sacrificial love for us. On another level though, perhaps God is inviting us to re-member. For remember also means to “put back together.” in sharing of the one loaf of bread and welcoming all to the table at communion, no matter who you are or what you have done, we re-member as the body of Christ. We are put back together as one in Christ.
Jesus extends on historical, theological, and personal associations with bread. Because of Jesus, every sharing of bread becomes sacred. Every time you eat bread this week, remember Jesus. Every time you slap cream cheese on your bagel, pop your pop tart in the toaster, wipe glaze from your mouth from your donut, bite into your sandwich, enjoy tacos, grill hamburgers and hot dogs, devour pizza- remember Jesus. Remember the uncommon grace God shows us in this common element of bread. Then, begin to re-member as the body of Christ, welcoming all to the table and offering bread to anyone who is hungry.
Monday- 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Tuesday- Exodus 16:1-35
Wednesday- 1 Kings 17:7-24
Thursday- Matthew 14:13-21
Friday- John 6:25-59
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
1. What are your personal experiences and memories involving bread?
2. Jesus says that every time you eat bread, remember him. What does that mean to you?