Some Thoughts on the Breaking of Bread

 

The breaking of bread at the church in remembrance of the Lord is generally referred to as an assembly of the Holy Feast. This is in accordance with the instruction of Christ Jesus, to commemorate the grace of the Lord in shedding His blood in redemption of our sins, through the shared tasting of such symbols as unleavened bread and the juice of the vine. It is a worship service before the table with our saviour Jesus Christ as the focus - on the one hand returning all glory to Him through our worship, and on the other remembering the salvation He has completed for us. I think back to August of last year when attending your service with my wife. The enthusiastic sharing exhibited by everyone during the breaking of bread left a deep impression upon me. Recently, some observations regarding the service came up during sharing with my co-workers that I would like to communicate to everyone here.

 

When Christ Jesus lived on earth, He served people in accordance with the will of the Heavenly Father. His concern was all for us, and He did nothing for Himself. Only when He established the breaking of bread service did He say, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me." (Luke 22:19) I believe that the Lord gave such an instruction not because He had done such a monumental and difficult task for us sinners, and therefore wanted some small reciprocal response from those who received His grace by way of remembrance of Him through the breaking of bread and sharing of the cup. In fact the Lord really wanted us to understand salvation better. Through symbols such as unleavened bread and grape juice, we firstly remember the salvation completed by the Lord, and secondly increase our longing for His early return so that we can sit down with Him in the kingdom of God. (Luke 22:16, 18) Our remembrance of the Lord in breaking bread is not like a feast at a wake, where the accomplishments and virtues of the deceased are brought to mind. We long for the coming of the resurrected Lord, when our bodies are redeemed, and the Lord receives us into glory to enjoy the Heavenly Banquet. Therefore, we remember the Lord with hope.

 

So when we come before the table to remember the Lord, we should have as our focus of meditation and gratitude the salvation of Christ, to worship and give thanks to Him, and to return glory to the Heavenly Father through Him. In order to have enough energy to worship on the Lord’s Day, we should go to bed earlier on Saturday. Try to arrive early at the venue to silently pray in peace before God, remembering Him in earnestness and spirituality. The attire for Sunday worship should be solemn and neat. Shorts or jeans are inappropriate. Don’t forget that we are here for an audience with the holy, majestic and glorious God, to worship before Him. Your sitting posture should be reverential, and don’t chew gum during the assembly, because behaviour without often reflects your attitude of fear and respect for God within. Prepare the songs you will be sharing in advance. These should follow the main lines of worship, praises, and meditation and remembrance of the suffering and salvation of the Lord. Repeat in a loud voice the title of the song you intend to share, so that everyone can clearly hear it. If the Holy Spirit so leads, we can practice contemplating together certain aspects of the beauty of the Lord. When a bible passage is shared, succinctly guide the congregation to understanding, and motivate the essence of worship and thanksgiving towards God of the whole group. Don’t be long-winded, in order that others may also have a chance of participating. If the Holy Spirit moves you to pray, concentrate on worship and thanksgiving. It is inappropriate to pray solely or over-long for the self. Everyone should be engaged in the worship and actively share. Waiting for others so that the majestic Lord is left in the cold is not warranted. Before receiving the bread and the juice, you must reflect on your own spiritual state. If the Holy Spirit enlightens you to some obstructive sin, immediately confess to God and ask for forgiveness, so that you won’t be receiving a symbol of the rectification of sin while harboring sin yourself. The meaning is to be self-aware and discerning, so that you won’t eat and drink your own sin and bring forth the wrath of God. We worship before the Lord’s table to remember the covenant of peaceful life that He has established with us, and so return glory and thanksgiving to God.

 

By: Daniel To