In HOPE 6.29                                  back to home                        David Timms

The Current Series

Over the past three weeks, we've considered the shape of the Lord's Supper as a model for the shape of our Christian lives.

"Jesus took some bread, and after blessing it He broke it; and gave it to them ...." (Mk 14.22)

Today we conclude this four-part series. Yet, I pray that each day we will be shaped powerfully by these four gospel words. 

Hope Happenings

Today we honor Dr. Knofel Staton (former President and current professor) in a special chapel service, as he prepares for retirement in about two months. Over the past three decades, Dr. Staton has proved remarkably energetic and inspiring in his leadership, teaching, writing, and speaking. Christ has touched the lives of thousands through him.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

"The 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' ...."  (Dallas Willard)


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 have synonymity. 

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 alternative Kingdom.

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 pop-psychology.

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 do.

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.

We are that bread.

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 testimony.



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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.