Blessing the Food
Originally scheduled for August 23
We can sometimes learn something from what the
writers of the Gospels do not
say. It is a reasonable assumption that Jesus bless the food and
gave thanks and practically every meal he ate. His disciples would
see that as a reasonable thing for him to do. Interestingly,
however, the writers of the Gospels record only four instances where
Jesus is explicitly said to have blessed and given thanks for the
Two of those instances were the
feeding of the 5000, and the feeding of the 4000.
Another such instance was the meal at
Emmaus after the resurrection.
The fourth was the Lord’s Supper.
Apparently the fact that Jesus blessed the food
and gave thanks for it was significant in these four instances.
Examining the three which are given first, we see in fact there are
two reasons why the Gospel writers might have made it explicit in
In the first two instances the meal
was going to be greatly multiplied. His giving thanks and blessing
the food was not a formality, but rather essential to the fact that
the meal itself would be miraculously multiplied.
At the meal at Emmaus we read of the
disciples that “their eyes were opened.” It was not just another
meal; they learned from the Law and the Prophets the prophecies
concerning the coming of the Messiah.
Both of these cases apply to Communion. May I
submit to you that both of these cases still are of relevance to us
today. We may see some lessons which are not usually connected
directly with Communion.
First, we should not remain content with
Communion being something that is “only for us.” Christ intends that
Communion, along with the Gospel, should be spread as far and wide
as we are able. In so doing, we may point out to those who are
considering the Christian faith that Communion is a symbol of God’s
grace — mercy which we do not deserve. As such it is also a symbol
of God’s love. But perhaps most important, is a symbol of God’s
plan. God did not conceive the Resurrection as a stopgap measure to
fix something that went wrong. It was “Plan A” all along.
Also, as Christ opened the eyes of his
disciples at Emmaus we need to should approach him with open eyes.
In Communion we remember his suffering and death which he
voluntarily undertook on our behalf. We should grow in our knowledge
of the faith, and that growth should spur us to greater obedience.
Growth in knowledge and obedience however are not sufficient; we
should also grow in thankfulness for all the blessings he gives us.