Sermon Title: Why We’re Here: Breaking Bread
Text: Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)
Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?)
This is the third of a four-part series called “Why We’re Here.” I’m aiming to help us as a church think introspectively about some practical reasons why God put us here. To do this, we’re considering Luke’s description of the earliest Christians.
The third thing Luke writes that these Christians were devoted to is “the breaking of bread.” Sometimes that expression means the Lord’s Supper, and it may very well have that meaning here. But sometimes it refers to normal meals, and since verses 46-47 suggest that these Christians were “breaking bread in their homes,” Sunday we reflected on the importance of Christians engaging in table fellowship (part four will be on worship).
In the sermon we thought about more than just eating meals together . . . we reflected on the significance of meals throughout Scripture with an emphasis on the life of Jesus and how he seemed to spend quite a bit of his ministry sitting around a table with people. And we thought about what that means to us. In Scripture it’s clear that God wants us to fellowship with one another around tables, but he also wants us to think about the table in other, fascinating ways.
How do I live out the implications of this passage? (Discussion starters to help with applying the sermon to our lives)
- The sermon discussed four different kinds of bread that we break. The first is that we break the “bread of unity.” Discuss how Christians eating together draws the church closer together and helps to prevent different forms of division, including cliques, etc.
- How do we practice this in our congregation?
- How might we do it better?
- The second kind is the “bread of grace.” Jesus ate with all kinds of people, but it seems that he particularly liked to eat with people from the wrong side of town, which got him in trouble with the religious power-brokers: “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them’” (Luke 15:1-2).
- What examples can you think of where Jesus did this?
- How can we follow his example? (A quotation shared in the sermon: “Perhaps before we invite people to Jesus or invite them to church, we should invite them to dinner” –Jessica Pigg.)
- How does Luke 14:12-14 speak to this?
- The third kind is the “bread of joy.” God created us with 10,000 taste buds and the desire to enjoy food.
- What does that teach us?
- How does our enjoyment of food lead to abuses?
- The fourth kind is the “bread of celebration.” Read this passage from Isaiah 25:6-8: “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken.” This is likely a reference to the world God will prepare for us when Jesus returns—Isaiah uses a food-and-wine metaphor to describe that age.
- How will the first three kinds of bread find their ultimate fulfillment in heaven’s great banquet?
- How can we be more conscious of how the table helps us think about spiritual matters?