Friday, December 12, 2008

Something Recognizable

Tonight we are having our second annual "Christmas Progressive Dinner" with our small group.
Last year it so much fun, I can't wait till tonight. I'm so looking forward to it.
A few days ago I told Lora that I felt like--before we exchange gifts--I would like to lead us all in taking communion together.
I'd like to share right now what I plan on sharing tonight.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
(Matthew 26:26-28 NKJV)

We see in this scripture a habit that Jesus consistently practiced. Whenever Jesus meet with people and ate He would take, bless, break and give the food.
This practice is all throughout scripture. It's in both accounts of Matthew and Mark with the "Lord's Supper", as well as in all accounts of Jesus feeding the 5000 and again with the 4000.
With that in mind, looking at Luke 24:13-49

I'll paraphrase: After the crucifixion of Jesus, two of His followers are walking to Emmaus. Jesus meets up with them and they did not recognize Him (verse 15) they spend the entire evening talking about what just happened and how depressed they are. (verse 19) Again they don't know it's Jesus.
Jesus even talks to them about prophecy and all the things that had to happen. (verse 25)
Finally, it's late and the two were going to stop for the night, but Jesus was going to head on. (verse 28) They convinced Jesus to stay over with them and eat. Verses 30 and 31 says, "Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight."

Something recognizable happened.

Jesus is in the taking, blessing, breaking and giving business.
It's what He's known for.
It's what He does.
It's what He still does.

As followers of Christ we say "Yes, Lord! Take my life, it's yours." then we look and actively expect blessings, but we get a little hesitant about the breaking part. The truth is the breaking part is hard. None of us want that. It's why it's called "breaking."
But without the breaking part in our lives there can't be the giving away.
Isn't it amazing that it was the action that opened their eyes and not the countless scriptures and stories? I believe, much like this story, we should be known by our recognizable actions like Jesus was.

This process in our lives is much like a well-washed head of hair. "Wet, soap, lather, rinse...REPEAT.
I have grown up hearing the principle, "what God blesses you with, He breaks you with."
Honestly, I'm at a point in my life where I'm discovering it to be true. Hard truth, but liberating.

Tonight as we take communion--and it the next time you partake--ponder the process in your life. Where are you at in these stages? Let this be your prayer:

Lord, as a follower of you, I truly want you to take my life and use me.
I thank you and joyfully receive the blessings you've given me.
Lord, with those blessings, what would you have me to do?
I pray that as I can stay broken to the things that break your heart.
Thank you for breaking me with Your loving mercy and grace.
Let my life and all I have be given to others.
Lord, repeat often.

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