When we launched the concept of Fresh Bread Ministries, I, Christopher, was reminded of Henri Nouwen’s four words that describe what Jesus is, has done and is doing for us in the symbolic nature of the Eucharist. Jesus gives us what he does with us as genuine Christ-followers: He Took (Chose), Blessed, Broke and Gave.
We look at these one by one:
Jesus took the bread. No one comes to the father unless the Father draws them. God takes the initiative and chooses us, each one, for himself. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made. I am CHOSEN by God! As are you! We are PRECIOUS to Him. Each one of us is DIFFERENT and UNIQUE. God called a shy, insecure, introvert, like me to be His, and that is my greatest honour. I bear witness that God can use very ORDINARY people!
God is the One who seeks to always bless. As God blessed Abram in genesis 12, we are blessed to be a blessing. God has a wonderful dream and plan for my life and yours! God believes in us, even before we believe in God! God takes the initiative and places on us God’s abundance of life and love. We are only able to bless others, because we have been blessed. It is modeled for us in Jesus, through His life, death and resurrection how to do this. We are called on to bless and not curse, to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. We are to bless as we are blessed.
Jesus breaks the bread. Jesus’ body was broken for us. This is a bread with the old Covenant as it was, affirming what was good about it, yet making a new Covenant built on self-giving love. What do we do with our brokenness? Jesus embraces our brokenness and sin and leaves it nailed it the cross. We have the courage to then embrace our brokenness and let Jesus heal us. Yes, I am a broken, sinful person, and I accept that. I don’t have to be because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. As I embrace my brokenness and God’s healing, it can become a BLESSING! This blessing is only possible through this break with the past. John 12: 24 says. “Very truly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.’ The breaking is a letting go pf the past and receiving a new promise for the new thing that God is doing.
Jesus gave himself to us and for us. His life is given that we may have life. The bread is given that we may be fed, so that we can feed those to whom God sends us. This is the apostolic calling to go to those who are far from God and offer them Jesus. I can GIVE and serve others, for in doing so I lose myself, I so find my true self.
Sometimes we feel so ordinary and insignificant. Can anything I could do be of value and make any difference! I do, however, believe and trust in a God who takes the offering of the little child at the feeding of the 5000 and does something amazing with it. I give Jesus what I have, and who I am, and trust that He will do as He wills and has promised. As one of God’s chosen, I seek to bless, to be broken, and give in service of God’s Kingdom.