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Thinking the Faith, Praying the Faith, Living the Faith is written by the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship.

Thinking, praying, and living the faith is at the core of ministry in the Office of Theology and Worship. In the following videos, learn more about what thinking, praying, and living the faith means to the leadership of the Office of Theology and Worship. Discover why it matters and what difference it makes in our lives, work, and worship.  

Charles Wiley  
Barry Ensign-George
David Gambrell
Christine Hong 
Karen Russell

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April 10, 2012

In the Breaking of the Bread

It was the evening of the very day when Jesus had risen from the dead. Two of his disciples were walking along the road to a village called Emmaus, discussing the events of the past week. They were joined by a mysterious stranger who spoke to them of the law and the prophets, of suffering and glory …

As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:28–35)

It was in the breaking of the bread that these despondent disciples came to know the good news of the resurrection. It was in the breaking of the bread that they came to know the presence of the risen Lord.

What was so important about the breaking of the bread that—after walking and talking with Jesus, after hearing him teach the scriptures and preach the gospel—this was the sign that finally opened their eyes? I believe it says something about the centrality of breaking bread in the life, mission, and ministry of Jesus. They recognized him in the breaking of the bread because they had seen him take, bless, break, and give the bread so many times—notably, with the hungry crowds beside the sea and at that Passover meal just before his arrest and crucifixion.

This ought to suggest something to us about the centrality of breaking bread together in the life, mission, and ministry of the church that bears Christ’s name. If we want to know Jesus—the joy of his presence, the good news of salvation, the hope of everlasting life—we ought to meet him as often as possible at the feast he prepares. If we want to follow Jesus—to feed the hungry, to share the gospel, to love and serve our neighbors, and to welcome them into Christ’s body—we ought to eagerly receive the spiritual nourishment that he alone provides. We ought to seek and find him, just as those disciples did, in the breaking of the bread.

At our new weekly Eucharist web page you will find a collection of teaching, liturgical, and musical resources to promote the regular celebration of the Lord’s Supper in your congregation. Let us know how we can expand and adapt this site to best serve you in your ministry. We also hope that you will share your congregation’s story so that others may be encouraged and learn from your experience. Whether you are one of the growing group of congregations that celebrates the Lord’s Supper each week at one or more services, or just interested in learning more, we want to be your companions on this road.

As this Season of Easter begins, I pray that you and your congregation will encounter the presence of the risen Lord in the breaking of the bread.

Tags: lord's supper, sacraments, worship