This is for busy people after a time of Bible Study:
Blue is said by one person, red by everyone:
We ask each other: Are we at peace with each other in Jesus the Messiah?
Who speaks these words, or who presides at our Emmaus Meal? One of us should be our ‘Curator’, not somebody imported from outside. Who should be allowed to participate? Anybody who wants to be a disciple of Jesus.
After a time of reflection and perhaps silent prayer for the person/people in the group we struggle with, we say together after the prompting of the Curator:
Are we? We are!
By this point we will have decided what we are going to share as bread and wine. So we have a time of reflection, and think about the cross, and what Jesus has done for us. We give thanks for the Good News of Jesus. We are in the company of all those in time and space who are worshiping the Lamb of God. Somebody might say something, or this time can be a time of silence.
Remember Jesus the Messiah, risen from the dead, descended from David: (II Timothy 2)
We are in the company of all those in time and space who worship with us: (Revelation 5)
Let’s eat together! We give you thanks, our Father in Heaven, for the life and knowledge which you have made known to us through your son Jesus, and we pray: may this be to us his body and blood;
We then eat and drink whatever we have decided, and then say together, at the prompting of the Curator:
We proclaim: Christ has died: Christ is risen: Christ will come again:
We listen to what Jesus may be saying to us. We turn our thoughts to the future. We may want to ask Jesus for help or encouragement or wisdom, or strength to resist evil. We want him to be more real to us on our own journey. We may receive restored shalom, remission from sickness or depression, hope for the future, restored relationships, joy and peace. We ask for an increased concern for the wellbeing of those we pray for, family, friends, those in the church, those we like, those we do not, and those who can’t stand us.
Finally, we say together at the prompting of the Curator:
We remind each other: Jesus is alive, he gives us his shalom: so what is he asking of us?
The Curator can invite people to contribute answers: there may be nothing, or nothing anybody wants to share, but there may be something that is helpful. The Curator can pray in closing, or lead with the Lord’s Prayer, the Grace, or the Peace. So we go back to our work, strengthened and equipped.
Let’s do it! or Amen, or Grace and Peace, or see you later guys, or The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore: Amen
For busy people this is a quick sharing together of some food and drink after engaging with the Bible. It is good to remember before we go back to real life that this has not been just an intellectual exercise. We not only want to learn about the risen Jesus the Messiah, but we also want to encounter him and receive from him. This simple starting point can help us transition towards understanding the many ways of celebrating the Breaking of Bread, the Holy Communion, the Eucharist, the Mass, that churches have developed over the centuries.
What is ‘Emmaus’?
Emmaus was a village about seven miles from Jerusalem. In the first Century, Luke, a doctor with a surgery in what is now Turkey, collected together stories about Jesus and the growth of the early Church. He was probably not Jewish, but was able to write down some of the stories from first hand experience as he traveled with Paul spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God.
One story he wrote down was about two followers of Jesus who were walking back to Emmaus after his crucifixion. They were joined by a stranger, who asked them why they were so depressed. Together they looked at the old prophecies and teachings about the promised Jewish Messiah, and when they reached Emmaus, they were enjoying the discussion so much they invited this stranger in for a meal.
As they ate together the stranger reached for the loaf of bread on the table, broke off a piece – and they suddenly realised it was actually Jesus! Their friend, Jesus, who they had seen killed! But now he was alive!
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” they asked each other? They rushed back to Jerusalem to tell their friends.
Here we have perhaps a prototype of the Mass, the Eucharist, Holy Communion, the Lord’s Table that Christians to this day share together. It is a way of remembering the last time Jesus ate a meal with his key followers, and is in some mysterious way an encounter in the 21st Century with the risen Jesus.
The Didache, also called ‘The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles’ was possibly written about 65-80, so is an early account of what the early Church did. This is what it says about the Cup and Bread we share:
The Cup: We give you thanks, O our Father, for the life and knowledge which you have made known to us through your son Jesus. Yours is the glory for ever and ever.
The Bread: We give you thanks, O our Father, for the life and knowledge which you made known to us through your son Jesus. As this bread was scattered on the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom.
After you have eaten, give thanks:We give you thanks, Holy Father, for your holy name, which you have made to dwell in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which you have made known to us through your son Jesus. Almighty master, you have created all things for your name’s sake, and gave food and drink to people for enjoyment, that they might give you thanks; but give us spiritual food and drink and eternal life through your son. Before all things we give you thanks that you are powerful.
Remember Lord your church, to deliver it from all evil and to perfect it in your love and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for your kingdom which you have prepared for it. May grace come and may this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David. Maranatha.