Broken Bread


Broken Bread


One night

Quite late

In adoration


I pleased with

My new found Lord,

“Reveal Thyself

To me.”

So sleep stole in

Enfolded me

In sweet and

Welcome rest.

Now, in my home

Famished, hungry,

I found a loaf

Of bread unbroken.


Even as

I reached

To satisfy

My need,

Stood a Stranger

By my side

His eyes

Upon my bread.

Without a word

I broke it

Giving Him

The larger half.

Then as He passed

Into the room

Where dear Mother

Had lain in death

With burning heart

I shyly spoke,

“I know ‘tis You,

You’re Jesus.”

Round me His arm;

In Mother’s tongue

He softly said,

“Ich Bien!” (I Am)

Oft when I’m tired

Careworn and sad,

He whispers,

Oh, so gently,

I need you still

To break the bread

My hungry ones

To feed.”

So strengthened,

Satisfied, content,

I carry on

For Him! 

(By Brigadier Harry Strissel, my Great-grand Father) 

Not a part of the Holy Eucharist?


I had an interesting conversation today. It took place in the parking lot on my way to see someone in the hospital. There in the hospital parking lot this gentleman spotted my uniform and inquired if I was a member of The Salvation Army. I indicated I was indeed and he proceeded to tell me that we did great work for people in need…I could almost hear the ‘BUT’ coming a mile away. Finally after a few additional compliments he came to his ‘but’, when he said, “But you guys are not completely a part of God’s family because you don’t have His holy Eucharist inside you.”


Wow, what do you say to a complete stranger in a parking lot after only a few pleasantries have just been exchanged? There really wasn’t time to delve into it right then and there, I was on a mission of sorts to visit a parishioner. I found it interesting that in a parking lot I was engaged in a theological conversation…I didn’t have the time to engage.

So since I didn’t then, let me tell you what I would have said.

His argument: We (The Salvation Army & most Protestants) Are not completely a part of the body of Christ because we don’t have the holy Eucharist in us.

I couldn’t disagree more with his pompous take on theology! What he essentially struck me as proud and even elitism. Does God desire practice over faith? Often times religious conflict comes from theological misunderstandings or staunch stubborn persuasions. His assertion was that because we do not practice Communion or partake in Eucharist we are not a part of Christ. Hmm…was it the work of bread and wine that spurred the disciples into converting many at the day of Pentecost? Was it bread and wine that brought the Apostle Paul to the knowledge of Christ?

No! In fact I would contend that the Holy Spirit is an element that many high churches miss out on in their practice of Eucharist. Sure the practice can become ritualistic and lose its meaning, but His Holy Spirit is not mentioned enough within their church practices. How can one participate in Communion/Eucharist and completely miss the point of such a ceremony?

Is the practice of such a ceremony an act of Salvation? I would contend again that it is not! In fact, there are still many churches who say that if people do not partake in Eucharist they aren’t saved. How can this be? Did Jesus say ” Do this in remembrance of me to be saved?” No! He simply said, “Do this in remembrance of me”. What is ‘this’ that Jesus refers to? Was it solely the breaking of the bread and drinking of the wine? I do not believe it to be so. When Jesus later prayed to the Father that his disciples be One just has He and the Father were One, I believe there is significance there. Jesus wanted unity, peace amongst his followers. When they were to fellowship over a meal together, whether it was the Passover or even a simple shared meal the remembrance, I believed was conveyed in their meeting, not just the elements of Eucharist.

Secondly what makes the Eucharist holy? What is holy anyway? I’m sure there will be those who may disagree with me and that’s fine but where does Holiness come from? The only true source of Holiness is God himself. Who is able to bless something in order to make it holy then? Man? Are we ever worthy enough to make something holy in and of our own selves? I’m not denying that His Holy Spirit can’t indwell within us and work through us, but to claim that something is always holy just because of practice is foolish.

When we understand the source of Holiness, then how much weight should we then place of ritual? Is Communion in and of itself a source of Salvation? No. Who does provide Salvation and Redemption from our sins? Jesus himself, through His sacrifice…and “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Did Paul indicated anything in there about breaking bread and drinking wine to save your soul? Is that how we gain access to ‘the body’? No. Confession, belief and faith are the ingredients, if you will, for our salvation!

So what is Eucharist then?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not condemning its practice here by any means. What I am condemning is the ingrained denominational notion that if one does not practice Eucharist regularly they aren’t a part of the body of Christ. That is simply foolishness and a slant to the scriptures that was never meant to be. Should we participate in Communion in church? I think that there is a time and place for it. I think that some very sacred moments can come from it, but do I think that it ought to be practiced every Sunday? No, and here’s why. It loses significance and symbolism, and instead of something sacred can become monotonous and mundane.

Lastly, to the churches who teach that Eucharist is mandated and lack of practice is detrimental to our salvation…think again. Stop dividing the body of Christ! We become elitist when practice replaces holiness, and judgement is measured out by the hands of man. Salvation belongs to Christ, and those who call upon His name will be saved.

There is no perfect church here on earth, just imperfect people striving to be like Christ. When we allow His indwelling to be evident in the outpouring of our faith then, perhaps we have the authority to speak on such things.

Give us today our daily bread


Do you know where your next meal is coming from?  Do you wonder how your next month’s rent or car payment or other bill is going to get paid?  Our basic essentials in life obviously come because we can pay for things…right?  What we make at our jobs generally helps to pay for our lifestyles.  Sometimes, though we realize that we have not been living within our means when we run up a credit card or lease/buy a vehicle that we cannot afford the payments on.  Living within our means forces us to realize that we ought to separate our needs from our wants.

When we pray to our Father in heaven the way Jesus has instructed us in what we call “the Lord’s prayer” what we realize is that we are placing our entire being, fully surrendered, at the foot of God himself.  When we pray “give us today our daily bread” we are not praying for tomorrow’s supplies or tomorrow’s worries, we are strictly and implicitly focusing on what is right before us within this very day.  Who knows what tomorrow holds, but when we focus on God, his might and power and his kingdom, we can’t but help realize that He is ultimately in control over our basic needs.

When we pray this portion of ‘the Lord’s prayer’ we quickly realize that it’s not our wants that He will supply but our needs.  What is it that you need today?  What do you struggle with daily?  Have you prayed about it?  Is it really a need or is it a want?  “Daily bread” isn’t necessarily the food that we eat but every human supply of our needs is included here.  God is supremely over all and through all!  When we come to this conclusion even the little things in life are blessings given to us by God and we ought to thank Him for these daily…even moment by moment.

Do you have needs?  Are you lacking today?  Have you prayed about it?  Are you surrendering it all to your Father in Heaven?  Consider the works of His hands today and consider how blessed we are because He can and will provide for us the things that we need.

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