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Devoted to... the breaking of bread

How do you go about remembering something - particularly something important - when you’ve got a brain like a sieve? Tie a knot in your hanky? Write it on your hand? Leave a reminder on your phone? Doing something tends to work better for me than merely trying to remember. And I often find that setting a reminder makes me remember anyway! There’s something of this going on in what the bible calls ‘breaking of bread’.

‘The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.’ (1 Cor. 11:23-26)

Jesus’ death is so important and affects so many different parts of our lives. That’s why he wanted us to remember it above all else. We forget our partners’ birthdays, our car keys, or the shopping; but this is something we really mustn’t forget - our lives depend on it!

So Jesus took two everyday things - bread and wine (a staple part of the Middle Eastern diet) - and made them the key reminders. It was a simple and easy gesture which would continually remind the early disciples of the central aspect of their faith. So its no surprise to find the early church was ‘devoted … to the breaking of bread’ (Acts 2:42).

How does that look for us? It means to take communion seriously, reverently, regularly and in community. It’s so easy to drift from the heart of the gospel; but being devoted to remembering Jesus’ death in this simple way helps us not to drift. Plus, we need each others’ encouragement, so we ‘break bread’ together. We’re all equal before God - and equally in need of Jesus’ death for our forgiveness. We ‘break bread’ as part of our meals together, where all are welcome to express their trust in Christ by feeding on the symbols of his body and blood.

By Mike