When (Jesus) was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
Scripture records that our Lord made 3 appearances the day of His resurrection. At the open tomb he appeared to Mary. Later that day he visited His disciples who had locked themselves away for fear of the Jews. Somewhere between early morning with Mary and His time with disciples, Jesus took a walk with two unnamed followers on the way to a place called Emmaus. All three meetings were surprising. But the one with two on the road was remarkable! Why remarkable? They invited a stranger (Jesus) to eat with them as guest, but the guest became host, preparing bread, asking the blessing and even serving them. Then, and then only were their eyes opened to recognize the Lord.
Unless one gets the Gospel, they will get backwards this important truth: Worship isn't about our serving God, rather it's the other way around. Our Good Shepherd has good things for His flock! We come to be forgiven. We come to be blessed and strengthened by His gifts. ORDER IS IMPORTANT Teaching of the Word first - after that the sharing of the meal. It's Word and Sacrament, not Sacrament and Word. Only the repentant, those who truly know why they are coming receive what God wants to give. This is why it is necessary to teach first. It's why catechism and adult information class come first.
Years ago while preaching on the Lutheran Hour, Rev. Ken Klauss used an illustration to explain.
Have you ever seen cows chewing their cud? What is cud, and why do cows spend so much time chewing it? These animals fill their stomachs with grass and then lie down. Only then do they regurgitate and enjoy a good, long, slow chew. While it doesn't sound appetizing, it's during this phase that the cow receives the best nutrients.
The writer of Psalm 119 understood this.
The Word of God should be consumed slowly, intentionally, and with great respect. The Bible is not 'fast food' to be eaten in a hurry and then forgotten. It is to be read carefully, slowly, re-read if necessary. It is to be read prayerfully seeking the Spirit's enlightenment. It is to be read earnestly looking to apply to our mind, heart, and life! ((How many times have you heard someone say,
I used to read the bible but then stopped because I couldn't get anything out of it?)) God's Word is not fast food! Slow down -- Re-read if need be.
Martin Luther once said,
The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me. So knowing Jesus has good things for you, knowing all He's done for you - all that's left missing is you. For further info on topic, keep reading!
~ Pastor Kelly G. Mitteis
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