My sermon for this week, apropos of the Family Communion Education, is entitled “Took, Blessed, Broke, and Gave.” Those are words that are associated not only with the Last Supper, but also with other occasions such as the Feeding of the Five Thousand. How important were Jesus’ actions in “taking, blessing, breaking and giving?” Very important! So important that the Feeding of the Five Thousand is the only miracle (excluding the Resurrection) that appears in all four gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all report on that event use the language of Jesus “taking, blessing, breaking and giving”.
Fast forward to the Resurrection. Luke 24: 13-35 tells the wonderful story of two of Jesus’ followers (small “d” )disciples, not any of the Twelve (Big “D”) Disciples, encounter a stranger on the road to Emmaus. It’s Jesus, of course, but Luke tells us “their eyes were kept from recognizing him”. They continue walking with the stranger, who informs them of the Good News they had missed in Jerusalem earlier in the day. Reaching their destination, they invite the stranger to eat with them–and then, and only then, as the stranger “took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them”, their “eyes were opened and they recognized him”.
Presbyterian author and pastor Eugene Peterson has written, “Jesus’ Resurrection takes place in the company of friends who know each other by name, some of whom we know by name. The Resurrection is not an impersonal exhibit put on display before crowds. Resurrection is experienced in a network of personal relationships. The named people remind us that the Resurrection takes place among men and women like us: puzzled, bewildered, confused, questioning and even stubbornly doubting friends. And yes, also singing and believing and praying and obedient friends.”