The Breaking of Bread
The dawning of a new Lord's Day provides a fresh opportunity to answer the dying request of our Lord to 'remember' Him. We have fallen into the happy habit of referring to the gathering as the remembrance, but Scripture is on two occasions, much more specific: 'do this in remembrance of me' (1 Cor. 11:24, 25) This urges the question, do what? We need not look very far, for the very next clause states: 'as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup' (v 26). The Scriptures describe the taking of the bread and cup collectively as the 'breaking of bread.'
The concept of 'breaking of bread' is used on several occasions in our New Testament. It was a matter of priority (Ac 2:42) and continuity (Ac 2:46) for the early church and also for the Apostle Paul (Ac. 20:7, 11). Every time we put our hand into the loaf and take the cup to our lips, we should not lose sight of the fact that we are engaged in a duty. Our Lord commanded us to 'break bread.'
But is that all there is to it? Is it merely a duty to be observed? Scripture would suggest not.
An expression tucked away in Luke 24 struck me as I read it recently. The unknown couple on the Emmaus Road returned to Jerusalem with the glad news of the resurrection of the Lord. Having expounded to them how He was the pivot, pinnacle and point of 'all the Scriptures' they concluded with this central theme; 'he was known of them in breaking of bread' (Lk. 24:35 KJV). The context here is not the 'breaking of bread' as we know it but allow the application. There is a sense in which as we take the emblems again today, that we should gain a fresh revelation of Him–He should be better known to us–as we keep the feast.
For those two on the Emmaus Road, what started as a melancholy affair, ended up the apogee of a lifetime. Maybe you come to the 'breaking of bread' today downcast by the twists and turns of life. As you look at your life, by any objective standard, it is sad. May God grant you that you will gain a fresh revelation–that he might be made known to you–in the breaking of bread.