Broken Bread

One of God’s great patterns is that of taking apart, and then restoring fully. The restoration, the resurrection, is fuller, deeper, and richer than the original unity ever was. But before God tears, we consistently tend to panic, afraid that this time He will not be able to put anything back together. But He always does.

Jesus took a whole loaf, which represented His body, and then He gave thanks and broke it. Note what Jesus did in faith; He gave thanks for His coming brokenness. We, a Christian congregation, are an entire loaf, as St. Paul notes. This loaf, this body, is torn and broken for communion, and points to the same fundamental reality. God brings life from death—but He does it according to His word. The death of Jesus was not done in our place so that we might not experience it. Jesus did not die so that we might live. He died so that we might die; He lives so that we might live.

You do not receive a fragment of bread so that you can take it off by yourself and consume it alone. That is a picture of sectarian death, not koinonia. The loaf is not a unified loaf, and then broken in order that we may then have a Scottish revival—an ironic term for a church blowing up into factions. There the bread is torn, but this is done in unbelief and not in faith.

But there are others who believe strongly in the institutional unity of the Church, and they therefore (in the type) will not allow the bread to be broken and distributed. Because of their fear of sectarianism, they are closed to God’s pattern of reformation, which is always death and resurrection.

So the loaf is one unified loaf. In obedience to the Scriptures, I will take that loaf and break it. You will all receive broken pieces of bread. And then, in evangelical faith, you will take and eat that bread together. You will do this because You are one loaf, together.

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