My favorite restaurant bread happens to be at Johnny Carino’s. There’s just something about fresh hot bread with olive oil and herb dipping sauce that’s irresistible. There’s even something better about it when you’re having to wait for your three cheese tortellini. It fills this insatiable hunger gap and when you have to share your bread with a party of six or more, the bread is even more irresistible. You don’t want to be last and end up with the cold end piece!
You can find some sort of bread item at most meals and almost always it’s a shared affair. When I fix spaghetti, my wife and I split out evenly the crescent roles. Four for her, Five for me… just kidding, four for me too unless I eat one before they hit the dinner table. We tend to share life around bread because it’s a shareable item.
I really believe that when Jesus was sharing his last meal with his disciples that this was the kind of setting they were engaged in. They were sharing a meal, sharing bread and doing what was normal. The Jews broke bread before a meal as a sign of God’s blessing, sort of like when we pray over a meal before we eat. Out of something very ordinary and normal, something daily, Jesus tells us to break bread in remembrance of him.
Jesus said as often as you break bread, do it in remembrance of me. Could it be that when we break bread in our homes, or the restaurant, or at a picnic that we should pause and celebrate and remember Jesus? Is that what he was talking about when he said, “as often as you do this?” I think the answer is a resounding yes. I hope the irresistible bread you devour in your favorite restaurant, in your home, and anywhere you meet with other believers is a reminder of the irresistible relationship you have with the Bread-of-Life Jesus.
We’re called to live out our resurrection but what does that mean? God is all about resurrection. God is the master of breathing life into dead things. God is the perfecter of making things new and giving us hope. When we’ve chosen to follow Jesus, God has brought us back to life by breathing newness into us. We’re given new words to express our hope and through baptism, we experience death to sin, burial of our old selves, and resurrection into new clothes we call salvation. Living out our resurrection is a matter of living out our newness, our hope in Jesus Christ.
We’re no longer walking the path of the dead when we follow Jesus. We walk the path of the living and we the living bring hope to those around us. We the living express our faith by loving others; not by tearing others down with our words. Living out our resurrection means painting words of wisdom that would gently nudge others to consider our way of life. What words are you painting in the lives of others?
Our resurrection inspired faith shouldn’t end up in a list of do’s and don’ts but sometimes it does. Living out our resurrection isn’t so much about pointing out sin in those around us because that’s God’s job. Living out our resurrection is an illustration of God’s love working through us into the lives of others. Someone who is living out their resurrection is obvious. Everything they do and say and touch becomes fruitful because God is the one at work. The only way to live out your resurrection is to let God breathe new life through you.
May God breathe new life through you, and may he love through you into the lives of others, and may your resurrection be in line with that of Jesus Christ’s, giving all honor and all glory to God the Father.
It’s been a hard few weeks. It’s been an even harder few weeks for a family I know who lost one of their own. I’ve always heard it said that death brings things into perspective. It’s a cliché that’s more true than any of us would like it to be. For those of you who don’t know me, I helped co-officiate a funeral of a former student of mine that I had ministered to for four years. It hurt and it was as hard to officiate as much as it hurt. If you’ve read the Eulogy you’ll know that this kid (Matt) was someone I cared very much about and someone I invested a lot of time in.
Switching it up a bit, our high school ministry had winter retreat a week ago and something God-sized happened Saturday night. There isn’t a doubt that the Holy Spirit was moving and in that movement, God spoke to me. Not an audible speaking but a visual speaking of sorts. We had entered a time of worship by praying and singing. As we started this, I could see Matt’s face on every single student that was there, 150+. I didn’t physically see his face on students but my heart and mind saw it.
For the last six months, I’ve been distracted trying to figure out calling but in that moment it became very clear to me what my calling and gifting is. We’re all called to represent Jesus to a broken world, to live out our resurrection before it happens, to make disciples. We’re called to become more like Jesus every day and help others do the same. We all share the same calling.
Gifting, it’s a different story. While we all share the same calling, God has gifted each of us in different ways. Back to the funeral and back to Saturday night at winter retreat; it’s become clear to me that God has gifted me to walk as a student pastor (under various titles, life group leader, coach, etc) the last decade of my life. It’s something I’ve been actively engaged in for a majority of my walk with Christ. It’s something I continue to see myself engaged in for years to come.
Read Ephesians 4:1-16 for more.
How has God gifted you to live out our shared calling?
musikkidonmission: I LOVE your blog. End of story. Looking forward to walking this journey with our Lord with you through tumblr :) -Meg
Thanks! I’m digging your stuff as well. Keep it up!
The topic that never stops coming up. See posts tagged under Humility, Humbleness.
Forgiving someone is what happens when you don’t make the person who wronged you pay up. Mercy is what happens when you don’t make someone pay up for the wrongs they’ve committed against you. When I ask my self if I’m a merciful person, I have to ask myself if I’m willing to let things go. Some things obviously need confronted, but not everything.
Someone once passed along this saying to me: See everything, overlook a lot, and correct a little. Sometimes, we have a tendency in life to hold a grudge against others. A grudge is a sure sign that you’re not being merciful and you’re not being forgiving. There are even some people who feel the need to call out everything they see in life. I don’t believe Jesus lived like this. The sin he confronted almost always was directed towards the religious elite. He showed mercy and forgiveness most to those who in society would have written been off the books.
Extending grace is making payment for the wrongs committed against you by others but that’s a topic for another day.