Luke used the phrase “breaking bread” on several occasions in his writing (e.g. in Acts 2: 42 and Luke 24 13:35). We could have looked widely at the times that Jesus broke bread recorded in the Gospels and all that happened around this, but instead we concentrated on looking at the time Jesus broke bread and then shared wine with his disciples at the Last Supper, the simple meal that Jesus gave to us. It’s a meal that is often called Holy Communion.
We heard again Acts 2: 42-47 and also 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26, the words of institution at the Lord’s Supper. In the talk, we briefly mentioned the other scriptures – Matthew 26: 26-29, Mark 14: 22-25 & Luke 22: 15-21, which describe the Last Supper and Jesus’ call to ‘do this in remembrance of me.’ Holy Communion is a simple and yet deeply profound meal that Jesus gave us. It’s a family meal – something we eat together. It’s an encounter with the crucified and risen Christ, a sacrament. We touched on the past, present, future dimensions of Holy Communion and how we celebrate this meal as Anglicans.
Below are suggestions for further reflection and action, personally, locally (in community) and globally (world).
Why has the church has taken something simple, left to us by Jesus, and made it so complicated?
Look at the gospel passages and the 1 Corinthians passage (above) together. You may want to look at various translations of these passages too. What strikes you about these accounts – their similarities and differences? Is there anything you will do or change in the light of what you have read, discussed and noticed? Discuss a time or times when Holy Communion was particularly memorable for you. Why?
List together other times recorded in the Bible when Jesus broke bread. What strikes you about them?
Have you ever taken Holy Communion in another country? What was it like? Did your experience give you further insights into this simple, yet profound meal when shared in another culture?