Saturday, January 28, 2017

Breaking Bread

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?

-- 1 Corinthians 10:16 

If you're like many people, some of your fondest memories involve food. You might remember Thanksgivings with family whenever you smell the rich aroma of roast turkey and sweet potatoes. The unmistakable odor of hot dogs, popcorn and cotton candy could take you back decades to your first State Fair. And maybe even the sight of a homemade apple pie reminds you of the ones your grandmother used to bake when you'd come for a weekend visit.

Yes, food holds a powerful place in our Breadlives. And not just because we need it to survive. There's something special--even joyful--about sharing a good meal with family and friends. As Christ-followers, we remember our Savior's sacrificial death through Communion: a symbolic meal of bread and grape juice that reminds us of the last supper he shared with his disciples. The bread and juice represent how Christ's body was broken and his blood was shed for us.

So while we're on the topic of food and its spiritual significance, what's the recipe for a joy-filled, Christ-centered life?

The Bible tells us it's one part unity with other Christ-followers mixed with a measure of regular prayer. Then blend it well with a heaping helping of discernment--the ongoing intentional functions of living, thinking and acting constructively. It's all about habitually looking for the good and dwelling on the positive.

When we have lives that are filled with joy, even the most unpleasant of circumstances can't bring us down. The Apostle Paul exemplified this truth. He spent years in prison chained to his guards while under the constant threat of death. But Paul always prayed thankfully. And instead of feeling sorry for himself, he used his circumstances to change the lives of his fellow prisoners as well as his jailers--and all while writing much of what we today call the New Testament.

Are you hungry for some tasty joy in your life? If you haven't done so already, the first step is to invite Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior. Those who grasp this opportunity become the ones he calls the Salt of the Earth: the special people whose distinct "flavor" makes all the difference to an otherwise bland world that lacks hope and meaning.

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