This week, we will look at the second action Jesus demonstrated as he instituted the practice of communion in Matthew 26:26, he blessed the bread. This word bless in Latin, benedicere, means “to speak well of.” This is related to the word benediction, the way in which we end every service at Redemption Tempe. We are “spoken well” over as we go out into our community to live all of life, all for Jesus.
Last week, we noticed that Jesus chooses us with intention. The blessing is the ongoing reminder and proclamation that we are chosen. Jesus blesses, speaks good news over and into the bread, and by extension, us. It is not enough to simply become a member of God’s family, as we all long for affirmation and affection. In this longing is the necessity of blessing.
Keep in mind, we are talking about ordinary bread. Common ingredients, like water and wheat, when blessed, transform into an impactful and moving symbol. These ordinary elements speak volumes of the great lengths to which God traveled to demonstrate his love for us in real, tangible ways. This is the incarnation. Common flesh blessed with fullness of God. A simple community, affirmed and challenged while walking with the Son.
We see this modeled in Creation. As God speaks, the Word creates and the Spirit hovers in the midst of new creation. Reality created through the verbal proclamation of the divine. As this beautiful process is unfolding, there is the continued affirmation, “It is good”. This “well-spoken of” creation reaches its pinnacle as God created man in his image, declaring, “It is very good.”
God spoke, and the world was formed. Jesus spoke, and the bread transformed. The Spirit hovers, and his family is being increasingly conformed back into God’s image that was shattered with the appearance of sin. We have been blessed, we are blessed, and we are promised continued blessing as God’s Kingdom is being revealed on earth as it is in heaven. This blessing will reach its fulfillment in the final restoration of all things when Jesus returns to unleash the new heavens and new earth in the midst of our broken reality.
The blessings that the Father lavishes upon us are to spill out into the lives of others so that there may be a multiplication of blessing for others. Think waterfalls, not lakes. Like bread, broken daily to sustain life, Jesus was willingly torn apart for the benefit of others. He modeled this for us, and this is the life he calls us to model for others. The blessing that shapes us spills into the lives of those we dwell in the midst of, so that we may incarnate this blessing into their reality.
Jesus invited the guests to the table with intention. We are chosen on purpose. And we are blessed to share the Bread of Life with others.