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June 25, 2024

At the end of today’s post we will be taking communion. Please pause and gather your own communion elements, so you can also join me, as we take of communion. 


INTRODUCTION


In the Scriptures, God used bread to picture His presence. From the manna in the wilderness to the showbread in the Tabernacle of Moses, to Jesus’ own declarations of “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35, 48), God and His presence are pictured by bread. Using this allegory, He wants us to know we can partake of His presence, enjoy His presence, and be carriers of His presence. And through our union with Christ, God wants to “transform our lives into living bread,” says Mary Jo Pierce, in order to feed His life and presence to others.


Using her love of baking bread, God taught Mary Jo Pierce volumes about worship, prayer, enjoying His presence, the rhythms of work and rest, and “becoming bread” for others. Ceci and I have known Mary Jo for many years and have grown to greatly value her walk with the Lord. When endorsing her book, Let It Rise, I spoke of the difference between head knowledge and experiential knowledge, “Some authors and teachers are well-informed, diligent students and, therefore, can dispense good information. Then there are those who have actually fleshed out the teaching, putting their theories to the test until they are proven and now laced with wisdom.” Mary understands prayer, not just because she has studied it, but because she does it. I also said of Mary Jo that because she lives what she teaches, “You can trust her.”


Today’s post comes from this wonderful book, Let It Rise: Sacred Ingredients for a Life of Prayer. The final of the 40 short chapters is appropriately titled: Becoming Bread. It sums up the message of the book, ends with communion, and I’m sharing it with you today. Enjoy! Today’s title; using the name of the book.

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Let It Rise


Dear friends, here we are at the end of this book - my love offering to the Lord and to you. It's been a great joy welcoming you into my prayer room and kitchen. We’ve spent time talking, pondering, and processing what bread means to us and how it is reflected in our life of prayer. In the beginning and the end, it’s all about Jesus, the Bread of Life, and becoming, living, praying, loving, and serving like He did — His life in and through us.


We are enriched bread. As we follow and partake of His example, teachings, character, and the whole of who He is, we are becoming more like Jesus. As we mature in our relationship with God and grow our prayer life, we are becoming more like Jesus. Becoming bread is cultivating His presence, cooperating with His presence, and carrying His presence with us wherever we go. We become that life of prayer that strengthens others, contends for the will of God, and carries His compassion, mercy, goodness, and faithfulness.


Jesus tells us to remember His ultimate redemptive sacrifice - His giving His life for us - as we take communion. “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). In these final pages, allow me to take you on a journey through some of Jesus’ final days on earth before He ascended to heaven. He was broken for us so that we might be made whole and be released to fulfill His Great Commission. And if you’re able, let’s take communion and partake of His bread (body) and wine (blood) together.


Let us go to Gethsemane. Today, we’re going to go into the garden from where the deepest groans, that sent shock waves through heaven and earth, came. Where the first drops of covenant blood were shed for you and me. Where the ultimate prayer of “Not my will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42), brought forth God’s before-creation plan for you and me!


I’ve been to Gethsemane in early spring when the ground is lifeless and brown. It reminded me of the wilderness, the desert, and death. The only signs of life and indications of hope were the red poppies populating the ground. Each one looked like a drop of blood. Such holy, surrendered ground. Such brokenness. Such beauty. Jesus shows us His redemptive power in this holy place. We become bread as we learn to live a surrendered life, even and especially in our wilderness, our desert, and our brokenness.


Let us go to Golgotha. There, on a hill, the great exchange took place - Jesus’ life for our lives. There, the greatest intercession and mediation for you and me took place.


• Mercy met judgment.

• Righteousness met sin.

• Light met darkness.

• Humility met pride.

• Love met hate.

• Life met death.

• A cursed One on a tree met the curse that originated from a tree.(1)


I’ve been to Golgotha, that city on a hill. Outside the city walls, away from the maddening and mocking crowds, there was the ultimate tent of meeting where Jesus joined the Father and Holy Spirit. Jesus’ body was broken and blessed. The most profound moving visual I’ve ever seen of the moment when Jesus took His last breath was the movie The Passion. The moment when Jesus declared, “It is finished,” heaven opened, and a tear from our Father fell from heaven to earth, dropping at the foot of the Cross. I wonder if that tear is what caused the earth to quake. Here, our Bread of Life was broken, and Father God blessed it so we can become more like Him.


Let us go to the Sea of Galilee. Jesus has risen from the dead. The apostles are defaulting to what they know best - fishing. What is in my hand? And then a familiar Friend’s voice asks, “Children, have you any food?” (John 21:5). Jesus then gives instruction on where to cast their net. Recognizing Jesus as their Messiah, their Lord, the disciples rush to join Him. Jesus invites them to bring what they caught, and they share a last meal by the seashore where Peter walked on water, Jesus calmed the sea, and the fish and loaves were multiplied. I’ve been to the Sea of Galilee, and on its shores, I have prayed and met with the resurrected Jesus. He loves to break bread, bless it, and feed His sheep. You and me!


Let us take communion. Let’s celebrate all He has done for us and will continue to do as we pursue a life of prayer by taking communion.


Take the bread and pray with me:


Lord, this broken piece of bread represents the beauty of Your broken life and my broken life coming together right now. I am mindful of the cost You paid, and of the cost I’m willing to pay to be one in Spirit. My heart is full of gratitude as I lift up this bread, and lift up the name of Jesus. May your life be lifted up and Your name represented in my life, as I become bread. Amen.


Now take the cup:


Today, Lord, I’m calling on the very first miracle that You performed at the wedding feast. I pray my life will be transformed as new wine - the best saved for last. Lord, I take this cup with a heart full of gratitude, knowing that Your blood shed for me has the power and the love to make us one. I take this cup gratefully. Amen.


Just as bread, made of the simple ingredients of flour, honey, yeast, and salt, rises with a sweet aroma, so do our lives of prayer as we cultivate the sacred ingredients of His presence, rest, worship, and Word. The apostle Paul wrote, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God” (Ephesians 5:2 NLT). Let the aroma of our lives, poured out for Jesus, rise!


I’m praying for your beautiful, broken, blessed, becoming bread life of prayer.


You are a sweet aroma.


Click on the link below to watch the full video.




Today’s post was contributed by Mary Jo Pierce and taken from her book Let It Rise, Sacred Ingredients for a Life of Prayer. You can find out more about Mary Jo at MaryJoPierce.com.


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  1. Dutch Sheets, Intercessory Prayer: How God Can Use Your Prayers to Move Heaven and Earth (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1996), Kindle edition.

댓글 2개


“A cursed One on a tree met the curse that originated from a tree. “. Mary Jo Pierce


I have not read the quote above until now! If M. J. Pierce is the writer, she

‘nailed-it’ so to speak! Well written & Praise You Lord for absolute TRUTH & FREEDOM in your COMPLETE LOVE OF me/us Your children.

좋아요

Johnna Ingram
Johnna Ingram
6월 25일

Help me, Papa, to be a sweet aroma, and let me breathe in some of that aroma so I don't give up in my endeavor to be more like You.

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