Plunge: The Aftermath of Easter ~ Breaking Bread

We continue in the Aftermath of Easter. Christ has risen. It is the earth shattering event (our greatest fear, death-the consequence of sin, has been defeated), but it is an event no one knows about… and the church, the followers of Christ, have been sent to report the good news. To bring light into a dark world…

Acts 2:42-47

As we come to a conclusion we are left with the forth point of the new church. We began with prayer (actually the passage’s last point), then the apostles teachings (our New Testament), third was fellowship (which goes well beyond pizza and a crowd toward sacrifice for one another), and this leaves us with the fourth characteristic of the early church – breaking bread.This is reference to the holy practice of communion. Of course we know they celebrated communion, but if I were to name the four most important characteristics of the church… well, it is surprising the church choose breaking bread – what we now enjoy by passing plates with tiny plastic cups and even smaller tasteless crackers…

I mentioned this in the last Moisture, but I have not been able to let go of the video and article on Moral Babies (click here for the article ~ the video is posted in the blog below). It is fascinating to me that babies prefer helpful triangles, over hurtful squares (and do not worry the article explains how they changed colors and shapes to eliminate those variables. Along with keeping the adults in the dark when the baby chooses which character to hold!). But then the study went even further to see how a baby would react to dispensing justice.

To help prevent confusion, I use the triangle and square from the video, starting with helpful triangle. After the above story, two more characters appear. One rewards and the other punishes the triangle. The babies, as to be expected, preferred the one who rewarded the triangle. Then the hurtful square appears, along with two more new characters. Again one rewards, the other punishes the square. Here, the babies preferred the one who punishes over the one rewarding… In some small manner the baby understood a wrong action deserves punishment! Which is fascinating, especially as I look at Phoebe (who is months beyond the 5 to 8th month old babies in the study!).

The article concludes by explaining how our built in moral do not necessarily point toward a creator, because babies are also selfish. They prefer people who speak the same language, they prefer their own race, they even prefer individuals who share the same taste in food! And this true, babies are selfish. Just as people are selfish. But I do not think this takes away from our morality as sign that points toward God (as CS Lewis declares). Instead, I think in infants we see the tug and war as original sin slowly breaks down the reality that we are created in the image of God! The fact that infants are selfish should not be surprising – we all know the good we should do… and yet we often choose evil…**

And this is why Christ came into the world. We have no hope of fixing ourselves. To save us from our selfishness he sacrificed himself… and this is the upending event of the world. Where the old covenant of sacrifice and rules was torn down and raised up was a new covenant. A covenant based not in works, but in the reality that we can not save ourselves. So our only hope is to follow the one has risen, who has defeated death. And in this relationship we are saved.

For this reason communion is exclusive. So much of the church is inclusive – at least it should be. Unfortunately the church is often little communities broken from the same mold. Groups who then argue with other communities and feel superior… as if we have found a greater truth than Christ. But there nothing greater. Nothing more ground breaking than the fact that Jesus has come, God has come, and we are saved. And this is all that matters.  It does not matter if you are black or white or brown, rich or poor, sinful or “good” (as if one could be)… even our abstract theology does not matter. All who declare “Christ is Lord” are welcome at the table for communion.

When we eat the broken bread, his body, and when drink the cup, his blood, we join ourselves to Christ. We remember his sacrifice. That death has been defeated. We announce that he is our savior. That we can not save ourselves, but we submit to him by taking on his life. And around the communion table we know that nothing else matters – only that we have given our lives to Jesus. That in him we are children of God. And we invite all to join us…

So when the early church gathered they broke bread together. They knew this was essential. Because it was a reminder of who they were and a declaration of whose they had become! With this act the passage concludes, “And the Lord added to there number daily those who were being saved.”

** As a random point, we discussed the mess in the gulf a couple of weeks ago. Of course over the past few days everyone has been passing blame. From BP to government regulators to Transocean (who owned the oil rig) to Halliburton (seriously, this company is around when all kinds of things go wrong… I wonder if they are connected to the Royals this season…) it seems that the millions of barrels pouring into the ocean is not anyone’s fault. Of course, beyond big organizations, no one wants to take responsibility. Even on an individual level…

Though, again, I heard of way people propose to fix the spill. This time it come from individuals across the nation who are mailing their hair to the gulf. When the hair is wrapped in pantyhose  the long tubes will soak up the oil… BP and government do not support this effort and I have to agree. Check out the picture and imagine those floating around in the ocean…  unfortunately the ocean can not be flushed! (Click here for the story)

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