November 17th – More Than Food on the Menu



According to the earliest account of the early church, one of its most attractive characteristics was called “the breaking of bread”. At first sight this seems a little incongruous because surely everybody did this? Even the most satanic people on earth break bread together. Everyone must eat. ‘Bread’ is the usual word for the staff of life, our basic food. Why should eating be singled out as a unique mark of that revolutionary,ragged, rebel army which eventually became known as the Church of Jesus?
Well, it was not that they merely ate food, all animal life will die if it doesn’t eat! It was the way they ate together. Everyone of the early church’s meals became a love feast. We must remember that in the culture of those days, the only important sit-down meal was evening dinner. Because there were no radios, nor T.V. sets, no acceptable entertainment places, and not a lot of adequate lighting, and so on. Therefore dining together was an occasion of eating, drinking, sharing menus, hearing stories and relaxing until it was time for bed. That was normal. But because their lives had been transformed by Jesus, and lit by the Holy Spirit, to the early church, every dinner time could become a love feast.Their Lord, Jesus of Nazareth, had said “Whenever you break bread, do it in remembrance of me.” So the earliest breaking of bread was not a kind of ritual called ‘communion’, or ‘mass’, or The Lord’s Supper’. It was a family gathering at which the most important guest was the unseen Jesus.He was the celebration. Every meal time was therefore a sacrament.
Remember, too, that hungry people need food more than sermons, but also that even the well-fed are hungry to be accepted, included, to be welcomed and to feel at home. So people never found the early church to be boring, or dry, or meaningless. It was vibrant. It was a party. It was a celebration. Who would want to go back to grabbing a bite to eat when you could enjoy a meal in a fellowship which accepted you, lifted you, and satisfied you in a way that no ordinary feeding could? No wonder the Bible tells us that:
They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere
hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. Acts 2:46-47
A Prayer: Lord, when we see what we have done to your church, we don’t recognise this as your real church. Can we start again, even round our own meal table and break bread together in your presence?
Now read Luke 10: 38-42.

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Man can defy gravity, but not the grave. (Anon)

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