Sermons on breaking of bread
One of the gifts of our Episcopal worship is that there is a 3 year cycle to the lessons we read each Sunday. This means that over the long arc of our lives, the stories become familiar, like old friends we delight in visiting again, acknowledging and savoring the fact that it feels like we’re just picking up on an ongoing conversation, without losing a beat. It also means that when we come upon a particular story, we can notice…
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they…
At the end of the day, the world will either be a more or less kind, compassionate and loving place – And I would add – a more or less united, peaceful, and grace-filled place – Because of your presence. We can choose to water down the way of love so as to never make a mark on the world, to never cause someone to make a choice or consider another option, or bring peace into difficult situations, or we can choose to be as Jesus, impassioned, fueled by the Spirit, and desiring to bring the Kingdom of God in now. It’s your move.
“God is love. God is good. Let us thank God for our food. By innumerable hands we all are fed. Give us, Lord, our daily bread.
Once the disciples’ minds were opened and they finally understood who Jesus was, he called them into action and through them, he called all generations that followed, down to our day, down to this church, down to this very moment in time. As you know, our risen Lord is here, right now, to tell us who he is, show us his unconditional love, give us his peace, allay our fears, open our minds, and send us into the world in his name.
When we receive bread and cup, we are taking the essence of Jesus, the self-giving life of Jesus into ourselves. St. Augustine would hold up the bread and cup at the Eucharist and say: “See what you are. Become what you see.” Today we would say – We become what we eat – we become Christ’s body and blood – a real presence, with life-giving power.
Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus is that which gives life, true life, eternal life, life that sustains and nourishes our souls so we may experience the kingdom here and now, and so that we may be raised up with him on the very last day.
Joy is actually the fruit of spiritual maturity; joy that shows up in our desire to be attached to some purpose larger than ourselves; joy that shows up in our being loving and patient toward one another, joy that shows up in our desire to play our part alongside one another to build up this part of Christ’s body; joy that shows up in helping to carry the burden of others; It’s a glorious and joyful thing we can do for one another and which we can become. For when we show joy, we are inviting others to taste and see that the Lord is good. And that’s letting God’s grace into the world.
There are times within each one of our lives when we are called to give a complete and whole response to God’s call to follow, to serve, to love, to give, to devote oneself entirely and utterly to God. These are holy moments when God is calling us deeper into relationship and further out into our world, and our response matters to our individual lives, to our world, and to God.