Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Shepastor: “Broken Bread” by the Reverend Darcia L. Simpson, M.Div
“Broken… “so many are broken today. Broken homes, broken hearts, broken marriages, broken dreams, broken relationships – BROKEN! Brokenness can be a devastating condition. Today, however, Shepastor reflects upon alternative, profound imagery of brokenness as given by the Reverend Darcia L. Simpson, Associate Minister, Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church; Cleveland, Ohio. Below is a message she recently preached at her home church.
Read on and be blessed…
Rev. Darcia L. Simpson, M.Div
Scripture Lesson: Mark 8: 1- 10
Text: Mark 8: 6-8
6“So He (Jesus) commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He (Jesus) took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them (the loaves) before the multitude. 7 They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them. 8 So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments.”
Focusing in on verse 6 we see where Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks for the loaves, broke the loaves and gave the loaves. Therefore, coming from this passage, I have titled, this message, “Broken Bread.”
Broken Bread....Broken bread....you might be saying Amen this morning simply because when we look around us we see so many things broken. Broken lives. Broken relationships. Broken hearts. Broken homes. Broken promises. Broken marriages. Broken education systems. Broken political systems. Broken finances. And broken churches. The reality of it is that there is brokenness and seemingly impossible situations all around us. The reality of daily living is that there are seemingly impossible situations and circumstances on every side of us everyday.
So the question becomes, when facing dismal conditions how can one make a difference? How can you and I make a difference in the lives of the people around us? Good news! You and I can make a difference in the lives of people around us when we begin to view ourselves as “Bread in the Hands of Jesus.” You and I can change the world when we see ourselves as Jesus sees us.... “Bread in the hands of Jesus...yes we are bread in the hands of Jesus...” (See the image)
See yourself as bread in the hands of Jesus. When you belong to Jesus, you are like bread in his hands. Follow me to the text and lets see what happens when Jesus takes bread into his hands. We are bread in the hands of Jesus and when Jesus gets bread in his hands...vs 6...he takes hold of it...he blesses it...he breaks it...he gives it for the nourishment of others. Likewise, when we are saved, we belong to Jesus. He takes a hold of us. He blesses us. He breaks us. He gives us to help nourish the faith of someone else.
Broken Bread...When we see ourselves as Jesus sees us, we can make a difference in the lives of folks around us. Jesus sees you as good, useful, full of purpose, full of life, able to make a difference in the lives of others...
Look at the situation here in the text, there was a seemingly impossible situation: hungry folks, and not enough bread.
Jesus knew exactly what was going on, what was needed, and what he desired to do... Look at the seemingly impossible situation in your life right now...
It is no different... Jesus knows exactly what is going on, what the need is, and what he desires to do. Begin to see yourself as bread in the hands of Jesus. Your life makes a difference. Your life can make a difference.
Recall verse 6; Jesus took the loaves. Can’t you just see Jesus, taking you and me into his hands... “bread in the hands of Jesus”
That word took is a powerful word... Jesus took the loaves. (to take with the hand, to lay hold of a person or thing in order to use it.) When Jesus takes a hold of your life he has a purpose for it. Run to Jesus and let him take your life. Put your life in his hands, and let him put his hands on your life...then watch what happens....
Next the text says, after he took the bread, he gave thanks for the bread... He gave thanks for the bread. When we come to Jesus, and let him take a hold of us, He gives thanks to the Father for us. You must know and believe that Jesus is thankful for you. Other folks might not be thankful for you and for your life, but Jesus is thankful... Jesus is thankful to the Father for you. Just as he took the bread, then gave thanks, Jesus takes our lives and blesses them, give thanks for our lives. He lifts us to the Father.
The words of Jesus found in John 17 are an expression of how Jesus feels about us. Listen as Jesus talks to the Father about me and about you…he says, vs 9, “ I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me...” He goes on to say, “Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name...” When we see ourselves as bread in the hands of Jesus, we will know that we are blessed, we are protected, we are loved...
Here in the text, after he took the loaves, after he gave thanks for the loaves, he broke the loaves. He broke the loaves. He broke the bread. Saints this is critical. This concept does not necessarily make us feel good, but it is crucial. Understand that when we see ourselves as bread in the hands of Jesus, the breaking is essential. Broken bread in the hands of Jesus must be understood, acknowledged and prayed for. In the Jewish tradition and culture, bread at the table is never cut, it is only and always broken with the hands. It is always taken into the bear hands and broken with the hands.
In the breaking of the bread, the miracle takes place. When we see ourselves as bread in the hands of Jesus, we must know that there is some breaking of our will that must take place. Yes, Jesus took us from the grip of the enemy. Yes, Jesus gives thanks for us. Yes, we must be broken. Our will to have our own way has to be dealt with. Look at this way, when the bread in the Jewish tradition and culture was broken, it was made accessible. All who were at the table could partake of the bread once it was broken; the youngest to the oldest; the feeble and the well. Note this, the breaking was done in Jesus’ hands. The breaking was done in Jesus’ hands. As followers of Jesus, we are not to break one another. It is not our job, role, or responsibility to break down, tear down or put down one another.
This breaking of bread is done in the hands of Jesus. The breaking of the bread is sacred.
Likewise when we see ourselves as bread in the hands of Jesus, and allow ourselves to be broken, we then become more accessible... made useful...made vulnerable - open, softened, revealed, transparent, palatable, appealing, approachable, rough edges smoothed out. Even though Jesus took us, blessed us, there is still crust on us that has to be broken off; habits, attitudes, looks, ways of thinking that in the Hands of Jesus, he can fix...
Then, the text says, after he broke it, he gave to the disciples to set before the people, and the people ate and were satisfied. Let me just say this saints, those 4000 hungry people didn’t get fed with the disciples just standing there in front of the people. The disciples had to get out among the people. The text says, they set them (the bread) among the multitude. When we have been taken a hold of by Jesus, blessed by Jesus, broken by Jesus, we have to get out among the people. You can’t just stay here. We have to get out among the hungry crowd, feed the spiritually hungry, minister among the mass multitude in search of Jesus.
When we see ourselves as bread in the hands of Jesus, he will set us before the people.
•He will set us before, in front of, beside individuals that are in need of bread...spiritual bread.
•He will set us among that co=worker that needs a friend that knows Jesus
•He will set us among relatives, friends and strangers that need to know Him...
•Broken Bread in the Hands of Jesus is meant to be consumed. It is meant for the nourishment of others. Our life is meant to be given. We are blessed to be a blessing.
Verse 8 reads, the people ate and were filled. How can one satisfy these people with bread in the wilderness? How can I make a difference?
•Get into the hands of Jesus, let him bless you, let him break you, let him send you out among the people...
You may be saying, Preacher, it hurts to get out among the people, you don’t know what they did to me. Maybe you have never given of your self in this way before. Maybe you have tried to minister/help/nurture/encourage
and all you got was hurt in return. Let me just say it hurts to serve, it hurts to help, it hurts to minister, you may feel like a left over fragment.
Don’t worry, look at verse 8. “Left over fragments” Jesus commanded the left over fragments to be taken up. You may feel like a left over fragment, but be encouraged. Jesus is calling for you. He will have someone, another disciple, come and get you. He will not dispose of you. Jesus does not consider the leftover fragments as scraps to be cast out, but as more bread that he can put his hand on...let him take a hold of you anew, and see yourself as broken bread in the hands of Jesus.
We praise God for this powerful message from Rev. Simpson! In the hands of Jesus, the broken fragments are made whole, valued, blessed and then used to nourish others! Thank you Rev. Darcia for this healing, prophetic word!
Are you broken? Do you need special prayer to help see beyond your broken condition? Have you come through a “fragmenting process” and have a word of wisdom to share with others?
Post a comment or send me an email at Shepastor1@hotmail.com
Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,