Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
This week’s lectionary passage continues a series of Gospel excerpts in which we see Jesus setting the table for Eucharist.
Our 2012 book of devotionals Meal From Below rests on a bold and liberating assumption: there is a eucharistic shape to life, not just the Christian life, but to all lives everywhere.
If this is true, the Lord’s Table is not simply a ritual performed on special occasions in clearly recognized “sacred settings” – though it is often exactly and beautifully that. Like Jesus’s “I Am” statements, including his statement about being the Bread of Life, a sweeping universality is held in the particularity of this Meal. The sacrament is a window into fundamental reality, in the same way the incarnation of Jesus is a window – it reveals that the divine is actually most fully expressed in the physical (Heb. 1:3). It is God’s great work of bringing all things – all things! – into union and communion (Col. 1:20).
The Eucharist inducts us into Reality and reveals its hidden patterns at work in our lives. Using verbs we explored last week, Jesus “took the bread, blessed it, broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, ‘This is my body given for you, do this in remembrance of me'” (Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26). In the same way, we too are taken, blessed, broken, given, and spoken in God’s love – so that we might re-member the body of Christ for a hurting world and become instruments of peace.
How might you be an instrument of peace today?
Kris Rocke and Scott Dewey
Excerpted from Introduction to Meal from Below.
Photo: “Garlic Naan – Northern Indian, Palms Food Court AUD3” by Alpha (CC BY-SA 2.0)