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Calm Amidst the Chaos

In the Breaking of Bread 4/16/2020

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:28-35)

Recently, our congregation chose to celebrate communion online. While many find home communion, separated from their church community, novel and challenging, it is important to remember that communion like prayer is a non-local reality. Communion like prayer is not limited by space or time. When we gather for communion, we are never alone, we are joined with Christians everywhere and with the communion of saints throughout all times and places.

On the road with Jesus, two followers of Jesus, despite their anxiety and astonishment, invite Jesus to join them for supper. Stress and challenge do not excuse us from hospitality or morality. Their act of hospitality leads to an amazing revelation. As they sit down for supper, Jesus says a prayer and breaks bread and their eyes are open. They discover that Jesus is with them.Then, Jesus vanishes. Not bound to one place, Jesus goes forth to his next resurrection adventures. In the bread, Jesus is with us. And, in every meal Jesus is with us.

Theologian Paul Tillich notes that we share in the communion so that every meal becomes a communion meal. Every meal becomes a place where we encounter Jesus. Every person around the table becomes an angel. Though sheltering in place, we discover that wherever we are God is present and every spot is a revelation of God.

Loving God, in the breaking of bread, you come to us. In the breaking of bread, we discover your presence. We are transformed and discover the holiness of every place and every person. Amen.

Bruce Epperly is a Cape Cod pastor, professor, and author of over 50 books, including FAITH IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC and GOD ON LINE: A MYSTIC’S GUIDE TO THE INTERNET


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