Sunday Night Rejoicings

Another wonderful Sunday at Cobblestone Community Church! We finished our "Do Something" series with a bang; I spoke on the theme "Passion," and called our church (and myself most of all) to a renewed focus on reaching out. And Matt Duley sang a perfectly appropriate rendition of the Eagles' song, "Do Something," during communion, to conclude the series. It was awesome.

I got to meet two or three new families, and was thrilled to meet new members of a family that has only been coming since our last Family Movie Night in late February.

Got to rejoice with a young woman who prayed to receive Christ this morning! YES!

Also got to pray with several folks, before and between and after the celebrations.

LOVED the celebration of communion this morning (always do, I guess). I got to talk about my latest visit to Jerusalem.

Our group was walking through the Old City of Jerusalem,
on the way to the Via Dolorosa,
the “Way of Sorrows” Jesus traveled to the cross.

As he walked, our guide Nader pointed out to us several times
a scrap of bread on a window ledge
or a few pieces on an electrical box.

He finally stopped in front of a bakery,
where a man was wheeling out a cart full of fresh-baked sesame bread.

Nader pulled a loaf off the cart and shared it with us.
Then he explained.
In Jerusalem,
not only is the bread tastier than anywhere else,
because of the unique qualities of the Jerusalem springs used to make the dough,
but even beyond that, bread is so revered by the people of that city,
that they will not throw it in the garbage…
and if any bread falls to the ground or is seen on the ground,
the residents will pick it up and place it on a ledge
so it won’t be trampled underfoot.

just regular bread.

But to them, there is no regular bread.

Because Jesus, during his life on this earth,
once said,

“I am the bread of life” (John 6:48, NIV).

And if you remember,
he once taught on a Galilean hillside
to a crowd of thousands.
And because the day was getting long and the people were hungry,
he took a small offering of fish and bread
and lifted the bread
and gave thanks for it
and broke it
and multiplied it….
and that vast crowd went away full.

And later when he sat down to a special Passover meal
with his closest friends and followers
the night before he was executed,
he said,

“I have passionately longed to share this Pascal meal with you before I suffer” (Luke 22:15, paraphrase).

And then he took the cup, and then the bread,
and just as he had done on that Galilean hillside,
he broke the bread,
and gave thanks…
but this time saying,

“This is my body given for you” (Luke 22:19, NIV).

And then, a few days later,
after Jesus had been crucified, died, and was buried,
and then rose from the grave on the first day of the week,
he appeared on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus,
only the two men he joined on that walk
didn’t recognize him as Jesus.
They talked,
and Jesus talked,
but still they didn’t know that this was the resurrected Jesus
who walked and talked with them…..
having invited him to eat with them,

He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him (Luke 24:30, 31, NIV).

It was in the breaking of bread
that their eyes were opened
and they recognized Jesus.

So I asked everyone to approach communion,
expecting to meet the living Christ
in the breaking of bread.

And then I asked them, on their way back to their seats,
to leave a piece or two or more of bread
on the window ledge
to represent the person or persons they had
or planned
to invite to Easter,
with a prayer that that person would someday soon
be meeting the living Christ in the breaking of bread,
just as they had just done.

It was a beautiful response.
I took this photo of just one portion of the window ledge
after the first celebration (much more was added after second celebration):

So now, Easter is just ONE WEEK away! Let's do all we can to make sure that those who need to be there are there…and in the meantime BEG GOD to do something amazing!

1 comment:

  1. I love that perspective of breaking the bread to see Jesus. I come broken before Him - and desperate to serve Him in any way and every way He would have me. Great blog.