We remember that Jesus called himself “The Bread of Life,” or that he said at the Last Supper, “This is my body broken for you.” We have come to know those elements as part of our ritual life of faith. Bread is part of church. What is harder to understand is what that bread meant to Jesus and to the people of his time. What is the connection between the physical recipe of bread and the spiritual preparation of Lent? How is God harvesting, mixing, and rising in our lives? How are we preparing and sharing those blessings of God?
SAMPLE CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE FROM WEEK 4, MIXING AND KNEADING
INVITATION TO CONFESSION
One: It is easy to feel pulled apart from one another and distant from God. We are reminded today that we are meant to be mixed together as one, with God constantly working through our lives to make us stronger communities. Let us be honest now about the ways we pull away, ignore the suffering of others, or contribute to injustice. Let us invite God again to knead us and make us ready to serve one another.
PRAYER OF CONFESSION
All: Gracious God, we don’t always know how to be “us.” We forget that we are connected to each other and to all people through your love. We run away from that connection. We are tired and don’t want to do the work to address abuse, injustice, and brokenness. Forgive us, and hold us again in the palm of your hand. Amen.
WORDS OF ASSURANCE
One: God’s grace and goodness abound! God will answer every knock, forgive every debt and trespass, and fill every day with the abundance of bread. God works tirelessly for our well-being, and, in God’s love, we are drawn together like ingredients in God’s recipe.
SCRIPTURES FOR THIS SERIES
Focus Scripture: Matthew 13:33 “He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.'”
Ash Wednesday, Empty and Hungry: Isaiah 58:1-12
Week 1, Planting: Luke 8:1-15, Parable of the Sower
Week 2, Harvesting: Exodus 16, Manna in the Desert
Week 3, Grinding/Milling: Matthew 13, Wheat and Weeds
Week 4, Mixing/Kneading: Luke 11:1-13, The Prayer of Our Savior
Week 5, Waiting/Rising: Luke 13:1-9, The Parable of the Fig Tree
Week 6, Palm Sunday, Baking/Preparing: John 6:25-35, I am the Bread of Life
Maundy Thursday, Breaking: Luke 22:7-38, The Last Supper
Week 7, Easter Sunday, Sharing/Celebrating: Luke 9:10-17, Sharing Loaves and Fish