Friday, June 7, 2024

Bread for the World

There's a pattern in the Bible when Jesus has food, whenever Jesus has food. The pattern is this: He takes the food, raises it in the air, blesses it, then breaks it and gives it for the nourishment of the bodies around Him. 

This is the pattern with the five loaves and two fish. This is the pattern with the breakfast on the seashore. This is the pattern with the Last Supper in the Upper Room, the moment that we now celebrate as Communion. 

He raises it, as a wave offering, giving it back first to God. 

He blesses it, bestowing it with the sacredness of a good gift. 

He breaks it, apportioning it out to meet the number of needs around Him.

He gives it, a gift to the hungry to satisfy their need. 

We know this pattern; we are familiar with it. Of course, this is a good way to share food. 

But the other day, I read something that said that this is not just what Jesus does with food; it's what He does with us

The words that I read said that when Jesus gets hold of us, He does this very same thing - He lifts us up to the Father, blesses us by bestowing a sacred holiness on us, breaks us by letting our challenges press us and mold us, then gives us to the world, a gift to satisfy the needs around us. We are meant to be God's nourishment to a starving world. 

This idea has changed the way I think about my ministry in the world, the small things that I do on a daily basis. These things are the satisfaction of the world's needs. I'm meeting something in someone that maybe I don't even recognize, but God surely knows. 

And this idea has also changed the way that I think about this Table.

As much as I love to share this space with Jesus, as much as I think about the sacredness and sanctity of this moment, as much as I cherish the opportunity to rest for just a moment and be fed, as much as this remembrance of this meal fills something deep within me that is longing...these are the same feelings, the same soul aches, that a moment with me is meant to fill in the life of someone else. This is what others are supposed to feel when they are around me. 

God gave me this Table to remind me of that. To remind me that, as His gift given to a hungry world, I'm supposed to create a space, an encounter, a moment that feels like this one...over and over and over again. And lest I forget what a moment like this feels like, He reminds me every week - every time I have this moment with Him. 

May you be a blessing to someone this week, as the Lord is a blessing to you.  

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