Third Sunday of Easter
They Recognized Him in the Breaking of the Bread
Luke 24: 31
What was it like to share a meal with Jesus?
He ate with publicans, sinners, Pharisees, and his own disciples, and we have many accounts of the meals he ate, most especially the Passover meal where he instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion.
His friends who traveled with him to Emmaus didn't recognize him until the breaking of the bread - perhaps it was in the table grace he offered at the beginning of the meal.
Today we learn our own table grace, "Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest, and let these gifts to us be blessed," as we wonder what it would be like to share a meal with Jesus.
Bring loaves of uncut bread (whole grain and pita would be most realistic), and ask the children to recite the table prayer before they break the bread and eat it. (No knives - the children probably haven't eaten unsliced bread before.)
Bring grape juice as well, and this might be a good day to add the elements of the Jesus picnic.
If you can manage to do so, bake some bread with the children - use frozen bread dough, and let them get the feel of the dough and watch it rise. If you can arrange a time with an expert baker in your congregation, that would be even better.
Consider letting them prepare the bread for Holy Communion; your pastor will explain the blessings and preparation to them.
If your congregation uses small disposable cups for Holy Communion, allow each child to decorate one, using Christian symbols, with non-toxic paints or markers, and let them drink grape juice with their bread.
We also might make a bulletin board on this day.
And sing WOV 706, Eat This Bread, Drink This Cup.
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