GodReflection: God Breaks In Monday
The one that most defines us as a nation is celebrated on the Fourth of July. It is a day Congress set aside in 1870 as a holiday to remember, celebrate and memorialize our roots as an independent nation.
The second is a more solemn day we honor as Memorial Day. On the nation’s calendar it falls on the last Monday in May.
Today, the Memorial Day remembrance is inclusive of all who gave their lives while in service to the nation.
As a human I need symbols of remembrance or I easily forget historic moments that formed my current reality. There is a sense that part of my own formation is tied in part to the events remembered through these memorials.
Let me switch gears to the memorial of all memorials.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life (John 6:35) . . . I am the bread that came down from heaven (John 6:41) . . . Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51).
Rather significant teaching don’t you think? That is one I suppose I should remember.
Jesus took two common elements bread and the red juice of the grape to help me remember the most significant act in all of history. It was to memorialize the event that allows all creation to be restored to God.
In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22: 19 – 20).
Jesus was killed and buried. The intense hope of his disciples that he in fact was the messiah died with him.
Shortly after his death Luke tells of a confused Cleopas and another former disciple who went on a seven mile walk from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus.
A disguised Jesus joins them on their trip.
Upon their arrival the two felt such a draw to this stranger that they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them (Luke 24:29).
When they started to eat–
God broke into the meal.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
They asked each other “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread (Luke 24: 30-35).
Here is what I think.
Jesus established a memorial that is to last until his return.
Its purpose is that God breaks in to open my eyes each time I observe the memorial that I might see again what Jesus did for me and for the world.
He memorialized bread to represent his body and the red juice of the grape to represent his blood. The representation is to remind me of the ultimate sacrifice to make clean my own heart in the eyes of the creator.
Can I take it a step further?
What if every time I picked up a piece of bread and every time I drank from the juice of the grape I remembered and breathed a prayer of thanksgiving?
Would not God constantly break into the memorial elements to remind me of a time in history when Jesus acted on my behalf?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection on God Breaks Into The Memorial.