Saturday, March 29, 2008

Knowing Jesus...the broken bread

A reflection for an Easter Evening service in Luke 24:13-35

The quiet mystery of the story of Emmaus invites us into the mystery of Easter.
'The disciples knew Jesus in the breaking of the bread'
In a journey shrouded in mystery all the way up the road,
when they talk doctrine to Jesus and he quietly shows them what is the mystery that God is unfolding
they fail to recognise
who and what he is.
It is not until they sit quietly at a table
tired, perhaps ready for bed
that they see through the haze
and Jesus is known to them in the breaking of the bed.
As we might give thanks (as we do tonight) for the Holy Communion we received today
so we are reminded of the mystery that Jesus comes to us in the breaking of the bread.
I came across a cryptic little remark the other day
which said
"If you doubt go to Holy Communion!"
It was a little tongue-in-cheek but it has about it
an element fo truth.
The disciples know Jesus
in the breaking of the bread.
It is the steadfast experience of Anglicans,
and I would suspect, but cannot speak for, other Christians
that as we gather to share Bread and Wine in the Eucharist
we encounter Jesus.
So the funny little comment is true.
If you doubt go to to Holy Communion.
There we hear in the Word of God
of the Jesus who gave himself to be broken
and poured out
so that others might live.
This mystery, so common place to all Christians
should not be taken for granted.
As we hear the words
"Take eat this is my body given for you"
"This is the blood of the new covenant which is shed for you"
It is Jesus speaking to our doubt.
But we should not also miss the mudaneness
that is also being spoken about
that it is as we share bread and wine
around our family tables
and commit ourselves
to human relationships
which the dinner table signifies
and conveys
that we are also attesting to the truth
that Jesus is made known to us
not just in the ritual of worship
but also in the ordinariness of human existence.
For Christians, too, there is an imperative
to see that no one goes hungry
either spiritually, or physically
so the sharing of food ---spiritual and physical---
is to go beyond our comfort zone
and reach out to the hungry.
Jesus reminds us Matthew 25:31–46 (NRSV): in the parable of the Sheep and the goats
that we are called to not only pay heed to the theory of the gospel
but also to put it into practice.
“Truly I tell you, just as you give food and drink to one of the least of these you did it to me.”
We know Jesus in the breaking of the bread.
So, the risen Jesus is encountered
So, if we doubt worship God in the Holy Communion
and lest we forget, worship God in the reality of our lives
-our families
-and those who God sets before us in need.

No comments: