Minister's Message


 

Topic: Breaking Bread Together: Power of The Communion Table   

 

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

 

Eating meals together was clearly a practice of the early church. And from what we read in Acts 2:42-47, it was part of the core practices that propelled the growth of the early church. ‘They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.’ It says.

Participating in this meal as a community obviously brought a profound sense of the Lord's presence to the group. There's no reason this aspect of sharing a meal together couldn't have the same impact today. In all these, they were very conscious of Jesus’ presence with them.

The New Testament uses the term “breaking bread” for the Lord’s Supper. It also uses the same term for a common meal. The term "to break bread" can have two different meanings.

During Holy Communion the bread represents Christ's body which was offered on the cross, and the wine His blood (1 Cor. 11:23-27). The early believers appear to have kept this service frequently (Acts 2:42,46), probably once a week (Acts 20:7). If we truly love Christ, we will obey His commands (John 15:11-14). If we have a true personal relationship with Him, we will desire to remember His sacrifice as He has asked, and thereby encourage ourselves at the remembrance of that great salvation which He achieved. Even as we approach the Lenten season, a period of quiet reflection upon His sufferings on the cross will make our own trials pale into insignificance when compared with those of our Lord.

The Eucharist is fundamentally a service of remembrance; It is the equivalent of the Passover feast under the law of Moses (Luke 22:15; 1 Cor. 5:7,8). This was a means of remembering the great deliverance from Egypt which God wrought through Moses at the Red Sea. The breaking of bread service takes us back to our salvation from sin through Christ, which was made possible on the cross and to which we became related by baptism. Keeping this commandment should therefore be something which we naturally want to do

The bread and the fruit of the vine that we eat at the Lord’s Supper might go into the stomach, but they are not for the stomach or bodily nourishment. They are for remembrance of Christ and the fellowship of His blood and body sacrificed for us.

Why, where and when do we break bread?

What does the Lord’s Supper mean to you? What is your response to the Saviour’s exhortation: “Do this in remembrance of Me.”? 

At the last supper Jesus would have used unleavened bread. (This is bread without yeast, that does not rise. It is similar to cream crackers.) He used it because it was part of the Passover meal. The rest of the time the Jews’ bread contained yeast and was a bit like naan bread. The Bible doesn’t specify what bread has to be used so do you think it matters?

In what ways other than Holy Communion could we break bread to help nurture discipleship? What could a regular Love Feast or Agape meal add to the practices of our church today?

How can breaking bread be a prophetic as well as pastoral act? What does this mean for our church?

God’s blessings now and forever,

Rev Henry C Ohakah

Presbyter/Minister.