The Breaking of Bread

I wrote most of this piece before the coronavirus hit us in England and is often proving fatal and has led to lockdown instructions by our and other governments. This means that we are unable to meet together for the Breaking of Bread and other gatherings of the Lordís people.

Oneís attention is drawn to the fact that the institution of Breaking of Bread is only spoken of in Matthew, Mark, Luke and 1st Corinthians 10/11. The practice is alluded to in Acts, though in some cases it is just an ordinary meal that is spoken of (e.g. Acts 27:35). Had we only the institution in the gospels to go on, it might be said that it was something just for Christís immediate disciples. However, the apostle Paul confirms that it is something to be carried on until the Lord returns (1 Corinthians 11:26). It was incidentally practiced in Old Testament days as we are told in Jeremiah 16:7 and may be alluded to in Ezekiel 24:17 & 22. It is noticeable in both these passages that the practice was stopped so if we are unable to have a Breaking of Bread meeting it is not unheard of. Consider also that Paul was almost certainly not able to meet with others when in prison. Also, we find that John when on Patmos says nothing about Breaking Bread though He does speak of being in the Spirit on the Lordís day (Revelation 1:10).

The foregoing would remind us that although the emblems, as we speak of them, remind us of what Christ has suffered for us it is a testimony to the world that we are awaiting the coming of the Lord (1 Corinthians 11:26). It is in fact a physical act. For many it is just a duty which they think they ought to perform rather than something they delight to do to show their appreciation of what Christ has done for them. It is noticeable that there is no assembly discipline for those who do not Break Bread but there is for those who do it while living in sin such as the man spoken of in 1 Corinthians 5:11.†††††††

Apart from the Breaking of Bread there is the matter of our Lordís coming for us as He speaks of it in John 14:3. Was what He was saying only applicable to the disciples who were with him at the last Supper? Again, we have what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 to confirm to us that we who live 2000 years later are included.


June 2020