governing assumption today, among professing
Christians, is that we can be 'Christians' forever
and never become disciples.... This is the Great
Omission from the 'Great Commission' ...."
Just as Christ gave bread to a
hungry crowd, so he gives us to a
famished world. We use the more common term "sent." However, the
Apostle John uses the terms almost interchangeably.
The Father "sent His only
begotten son into the world" (1 Jn 4.9) and
thereby "gave his only begotten
son" (Jn 3.16-17). In the Father's language,
sent and given
So, he sends
us. He commissions us - to take love where hate
or apathy abound; to spread grace where
legalism is entrenched; to announce hope
where despair dominates. He gives us not to judge
the world, but to help heal and reconcile it; not
to conquer the world, but to model a radically
However, we cannot be agents of
such love, hope, and grace without having
experienced the "shape of the liturgy."
"Jesus took the bread and
blessed it, and when He had
broken it He gave it to them
Given becomes the
last action, not the first.
Once again the order of the verbs
proves strategic. The most powerful witness to the world
emerges from those who know the joy of being Chosen,
the security of being Beloved, and the
mystery of wholeness amidst their brokenness.
We have no gospel apart
from "taken, blessed, broken, given."
Without a profound sense
of God's favor and miracle in our lives,
we have little more than feel-good
Ultimately, it seems that few of us "Go" --
perhaps because we have falsely assumed it's our
choice. A "commission" leaves us comfortably in
charge, deciding what we will or won't
Bread in the hands of
the Master has no such choice. He gives it to whom
He chooses, when He chooses, and where He chooses.
The broken bread has a role to play ... to
mysteriously bless, enlighten, and feed those to
whom it is given.
May we have eyes to see
all to whom we have been given this day. And may
the shape of the liturgy become our constant