Communion: The Breaking of Bread

In past weeks, Pastor Tom Preble has done a fantastic job talking about being devoted to the 4 essential elements in Acts 2:42 where it says: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”  I thought about that a lot.  I honestly looked at my own life and thought on those 4 essential elements mentioned and asked myself “Am I really devoted to those?”  The one area I needed the most work was the breaking of bread…communion.  I had not had communion anywhere except in the four walls of the church and that wasn’t how the early church was doing communion.  For the early church in Acts 2, it was a normal occurrence all during the week together.   So I decided to do something about it too.  But thinking back, I think that anyone that has any kind of church experience looks at the bible and looks at what they’re experiencing in church and sometimes they can think that they want to experience the intimacy, the miraculous and the awe they had in Acts 2 the way the disciples had with Christ and with one another in things like Communion.   Do you ever feel like that?  I think we can devote ourselves to communion and as we do that I think that’s the church moving toward being what God called it to be.   I think that we can really make Communion something that is “sacred” and not just a ritual.  Because if we’re not careful we can fool ourselves thinking that at least we’re doing something.  And something is always better than nothing right?  But I challenge that because I look in scripture and there are times when the church was really missing the mark.  For example when you come to this idea of the Lord’s Supper in Communion.  Paul made some pretty strong statements in 1 Corinthians 11.  He pretty much says that when the church gets together to practice this thing they call the Lord’s Supper that what they were doing was not even remotely close to what God wanted.  In fact, he states that for some of you, it would’ve been better if you didn’t show up…if you didn’t break bread together. This is something we really have to wrestle with regarding taking communion.  And I understand that.  So a lot of people then ask questions like, “What was the Lord’s Supper like back in the early church?”  They really want to know what communion was like.  Or, “What was God’s intention of it?”    And honestly, I don’t want to just assume or think that because we have a lot of people in a room when we gather at church and we take a wafer and drink some grape juice that we’re actually practicing the Lord’s true supper.   And so we look to scripture and in Acts 2 it says the early church devoted themselves to the Lord’s Supper, this breaking of bread.  Then it says they went house to house breaking bread.  Has it ever bothered you or does it now bother you if you’ve never done that?  Has it ever bothered you that the only way you’ve ever taken communion was in this big room with a bunch of people facing straight forward?   Does it bother you that if you have never gone house to house breaking bread?  Or have you ever broke bread with your family at your own house?  I can tell you that’s something I really haven’t done myself.   

Now, I’m not saying that taking communion when we gather at church is wrong because it’s not.  But what we do here at church is supposed to leave these four walls and be replicated out in the world in our everyday lives because we are the Church!  What would it look like if we took communion with our families at the dinner table together, in our connect groups, in our discipleships with others, when we met with friends for lunch all during the week and not just at church?  That we would have a “sacred” moment numerous times during the week together reflecting on Christ’s sacrifice for us and remembering his body broken when we break bread and His blood when we drink from the cup together? Remembering the weight of the sin that we’ve been forgiven of, what we’ve been saved and redeemed from.  I think we would all live more grateful and intimate lives with Christ and one another and I think the early church got that as they devoted themselves to the breaking of bread.  Remember also that countless Christians have been healed in their bodies after taking communion.  So how would our problems during the week look if we normally were taking time out all throughout the week and taking communion together as the body of Christ?  Knowing that when we do this it is such an intimate and beautiful thing.  That we could be reflecting together what Jesus did when He gathered His disciples together and He looks at them and says, “I’ve longed for this moment!”  Imagine you’re sitting with Jesus and the disciples the night before he was crucified.  Jesus was about to die on the cross and he just longed to get his friends together and there was a relationship there and then he says, “My body is going to be broken for you!  And my blood is going to be spilled out for you.  And this cup is going to represent that.  And so when you break this bread, I want you to remember this body that was broken for you.   And when you take this cup remember this blood that was shed for you.”  How would you feel?  I mean this is what our forgiveness was going to come from.  It had to be an intense moment and thinking if we were there and heard Jesus say, “I want you to do this in remembrance of me.  This is the most amazing thing that anyone will ever do for you.   Greater love has no one than this; then when someone lays down his life for you and I don’t want you to forget this.   And so every time you break the bread… remember my body.  Every time you drink this cup, remember my blood that was shed for you and do this to proclaim my death until I return.”  Wow!  I can’t imagine how I would feel to have experienced this.  But we can experience this now.

I think if we made this a normal practice during our week we would grow closer together with Christ, and as families, and as the Body of Christ and I strongly believe we would see more healings reminding ourselves and making it sacred that His body was broken so that ours doesn’t have to be.  So let’s live this out for what it was supposed to be as we can weekly and daily make this sacred as we devote ourselves to communion like the early church did in Acts 2 for more intimacy with Christ and together as the body of Christ!  I have personally started taking communion with my family a few times a week, and with the guys I disciple with all during the week.  I can tell you that even as I am writing this I took the Lord’s Supper with a few guys this evening.  Jeff Hughes and Paul Hanson both admitted to being more in a place of gratefulness during the week and really appreciating the sacrifice that Christ did for them.  They also both agreed with me that as it becomes a recurrent thing that we do they grow in their closeness with Christ and with the Body of Christ doing communion together.  We find ourselves giving thanks for each other as well.  In a world of social media that tends to give bad news, full of complaints, full of ungratefulness, and entitlement that plagues our society, it feeds my soul to be breaking bread and drinking the cup with my family and my brothers with grateful hearts and humble spirits!  As for my household and the guys I disciple with, we are so glad to be devoted to the breaking of bread and we have had a new revelation of “do this in remembrance of me.”  We do remember and we give honor and praise for His broken body and the shed blood that freed us from our sin! 

Alex Fulton
Discipleship Pastor
NCWC

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