Revue: Breaking Bread Together

“A Story to Tell,” © 2017 Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

© 2018 Lynn Abbott

He decided to surprise me. He actually made a challenge of it each day on our sojourn: my husband looked for unusual and visually rich settings for our hotels and overnight stays.

He may not be a painter, but he’s certainly creative.

I usually like to know where I’m going, but I trust him implicitly.

Eventually, after a long drive and a trek down a dirt and gravel road, we arrived at a lovely villa, nestled among vineyards. My husband proudly announced that we would stay overnight. He hoped it would provide inspiration for future paintings.

It was all that I imagine “breaking bread together” to be.

It provided oh-so-much more. Our host invited us to dinner. And what a dinner it was! It included every course in the book … four hours of culinary delight.

Each course provided abundantly beyond what we needed for basic nutrition. Our host honored us with his attention to detail. His thoughtfulness allowed us the opportunity to slow down as well as to celebrate life with the other guests.

And celebrate we did. During those four hours of feasting, a great many stories were shared.

Much to my delight, my husband and I conversed with the couple to our left. Soon, they revealed that they both were artists. He, in fact, had exhibited his work in well-known, international venues and museums.

We represented different points on life’s journey. Yet, despite the artist’s amazing career, he humbly conversed with my husband and me. We exchanged stories of our travels. In addition, he and his wife encouraged me on my art journey.

It was all that I imagine “breaking bread together” to be.

And although we began our meal as strangers, we said “goodnight” as friends.

It’s amazing what can occur when we share a meal, story or celebration. I think that sometimes we tend to overlook the importance of story-telling, the significance of symbols that connect us.

But it’s no surprise to our God. Through the writer of the book of Hebrews, in fact, our Creator exhorts us to slow down and prioritize time for reviewing all the grace that God has shown to us (Hebrews 10:25).

And far beyond the experience that the vineyard owner gave my husband and me, our Creator-God has provided you and me with all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

Through Scripture, He has graciously presented us with a complete meal of Biblical history, teaching, stories and symbols. Each course offers us strength for today and hope for tomorrow.

Although we began our meal as strangers, we said “goodnight” as friends.

Jesus, of course, was the master story-teller. Parables served as the hallmark of his instruction. And He obviously understood the importance of evenings like the one we shared with new friends over a meal in a distant vineyard.

After all, He taught as He walked alongside His disciples and as they ate meals together. Those conversations not only inspired, but they also instilled the hope that the disciples hung onto in dark hours after Jesus’ crucifixion.

During their final Passover meal together, Jesus painted a profound visual of the days that immediately lay ahead, “…’Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.

You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy… Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy,” (John 16:19-22).

He also told them over that meal of bread and wine, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing,” (John 15:5).

Sure, dark days would come, but those days would usher in tremendous joy. And in Him, they would do great things.

Then, our Savior gave them a profound visual aid: the bread and the wine.

He said, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me,” and “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you…” (Luke 22:19-20).

Without a doubt, our Savior understood the role that shared symbols play in our lives. He knew the power of breaking bread together and recalling the work of God in our lives. Communion expresses God’s great love and grace toward us in a dramatic way.

Our Savior gave them a profound visual aid: the bread and the wine.

As a child, I used to wonder why my elders designated our mealtime prayers as “grace.” I think I understand now. You see, the food on the table not only represents the grace of God’s physical provision for us, but it also provides an opportunity for us to gather and celebrate the spiritual blessings or grace that we have in Christ.

Stories told; blessings recalled…when we assemble together.

Again and again, Jesus gave us vivid images of God’s plan and grace.

Through His parables and analogies, we learn that we are…

beloved sheep cared for by the Sovereign Shepherd ( John 10:14),

branches grafted into the Vine (John 15:5),

lost coins– treasured and found (Luke 15:10),

a bride waiting the return of her groom (Matthew 25:1),

a faithful servant rewarded upon the return of his master (Matthew 25:21),

a disciple celebrating the “Lamb of God” with wine and unleavened bread (Luke 22).

Again and again, Jesus gave us vivid images of God’s plan and grace.

Symbols and stories of God’s grace… After Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension, the disciples often recounted those stories to one another, and before long their testimonies were recorded for those who would follow.

Indeed.

Through Scripture, God presents the perfect meal–the story of His prepared grace for humanity–comprehensive and intricate in its design. The Passover represented the work of the Messiah, and Jesus predicted His death and resurrection during His last Passover meal with the twelve.

Story upon story; layer upon layer.

Yes, our Savior gave His disciples hope through an object lesson expressed through a shared meal. But it wasn’t just any meal. Abba provided the symbolic setting–the Passover Celebration–to provide the ultimate context for Christ’s person, teaching, and work…God’s grace, unveiled.

It’s all there in glorious, intricate and meticulous detail.

From beginning to end, God reveals His plan and hints of the incredible future He promises to those who place their faith in His Son…

For this reason, we relish each flavor; we memorize each line. We rejoice and remember Abba’s goodness and grace as we walk along the way or as we break bread together.

Abba’s grace and great love are revealed in every line and stroke of His masterpiece.

And the encouragement we receive for our journey is greater than any I received that evening at the vineyard.

“Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds…Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up,” (Deuteronomy 11:19).

“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching,” ~Hebrews 10:25

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90 Replies to “Revue: Breaking Bread Together”

  1. Hi Lynn, the anniversary of Nabeel’s graduation is coming up on the 16th and I just watched a short video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv3KruwUDWk&feature=youtu.be ) where Nabeel talks about his possible death and compares the suffering that Christ went through for us, to his own, and then Lynn, you write this post, that speaks of the same and the joy that awaits us. You state “And the encouragement we receive for our journey is greater than any I received that evening at the vineyard.” Thank you again for your delightful timing and as always, your clarity of the reality of our hope. Grace and blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh… It didn’t register with me before that Nabeel’s passing corresponded with my son’s birth date… wow! I will watch the video this afternoon! But yes, I look so forward to meeting Nabeel one day at the wedding feast of the Lamb! What an amazing celebration that will be! The best ever! Thank you for connecting the post to those who have gone before us and the wonderful meeting and reunions that will be ours!! Your comments never fail to encourage and bless me, Bruce!! May God bless you beyond all that you can imagine!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this, Lynn! First, it is rich just to read about your total trust in your husband and how I’m sure he studied, looked and planned the perfect places! And then, the dinner with other artists! Excellent! There is something magical about connecting with strangers who become friends. And the Bible is like that…we become friends, fans, sometimes adversaries with the people in the pages of the Bible, and the more we read and understand, the more they are our friends. Love the painting of the villa where you stayed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen!! You are absolutely right, Jeff! That’s exactly how I feel about the people in the Bible. I’m drawn to their stories, and look forward to meeting them one day! I know some people really love the Epistles in the New Testament… and I do as well. But I find myself returning to the stories of the people again and again. I love stories. I think that is why I absolutely love your writing. You are an amazing story teller. What a blessing to have “met” you on this side of eternity, my adopted brother! 😀

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  3. Beautiful words to accompany a lovely painting. You work has a softness about it, along with strength of subject matter. As usual a wonderful lesson is woven into the fabric of it .

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You’ve certainly learnt a lot in your walk with with Jesus sis.

    Powerfully encouraging ‘stories upon stories,’ ‘layers upon layers’ … fabulously entertaining and beautifully woven.

    A true and honest child of the Living GOD. X

    PS and another fabulous Italian scene x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Warren…You are so very kind. Sigh… I seem to need to learn much the same lessons over and over again. :-/ Yet, our patient Abba continues to extend grace to me and for that I’m truly grateful!! And yes, another Italian scene… I probably have enough inspiration from the month we spent there to last me for at least five years of painting… maybe more. Hopefully, you won’t get tired of Italy. 😉 God bless you again and again, my truly wonderful friend!

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  5. Amen!
    ♥ this! Thank you for sharing.
    What an awesome God we serve! Through all of life’s journey, He is always there.
    What began as ‘a meal with strangers ended with a goodbye like friends’… how true when the ♥ of God shines in us, it resonates and reciprocates. Blessings always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you with all my heart, dear Efua! God is good, isn’t He? He is faithful to help me with blogging as I often feel at a loss as to what to write. So glad He answers prayer! 🙂 You are a wonderful writer, Efua, and thus, I am truly honored by your kind encouragement! ❤ and huge hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. how awesome Lynn is your husband?! Bless Gregory, creative in that sort of area he is not.
    Yet how awesome is it that God added flavor by connecting you with other artists…
    No detail too small and nothing lost in those life layers!
    A beautiful reminder indeed…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Tim is pretty great that way… He loves travel and so that is right up his alley. At home, not as much… but when it comes to travel, he’s the ace! 🙂 And yes! God is so amazing! What beautiful bouquets He regularly gives His children! Love you much, dearest Julie!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Words cannot express the beauty in your written piece. A simple thank you for the picturesque picture you paint with your sojourn into a quaint little cottage. A simple merci beaucoup for the joy in my heart on how beautifully you have expressed the simpleness of ‘breaking bread together’. Your own gift of storytelling is a blessing to us all.
    Blessings to you, always, MsLynn 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you; thank you my thoughtful and truly kind friend!! You are truly so very good to me. It was such a blessing from God–that experience. My accountability partner and dear friend calls those kinds of experiences “God bouquets…” gifts from our loving heavenly Father just to say “I love you!” And He certainly gives us such grace so often even though sometimes His gifts go unnoticed. It was simply a joy to share the “bouquet” with you! 🙂 God bless you greatly!! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thank you; thank you! I am truly honored! I’m not currently accepting awards as I’m so overwhelmed with my current crazy work schedule, and I seem to be very tardy in getting my awards posts published. However, when my schedule clears, I will gladly receive the award! Thank you so much for your kindness and understanding! God bless you and your ministry big time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome! Your blog truly blesses me, and I wanted to be able to say thank you and recognize you in a way that others who may not know you can be blessed also. The award is yours. Accept and receive at your own leisure. Have a wonderful day!

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  8. What a surprising and rich experience you and your husband had during this trip. It sounds like it was a B&B and inner arrangement. What a surprise to meet well-known artists and had an encouraging conversation with them.
    A lovely painting you have in this post as usual. It delights me to appreciate it! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. How wonderful your dinner was! And how different from my experience at jury duty yesterday. I had some interesting conversations with both of my “neighbors” in the courtroom as we sat there throughout the morning waiting to find out if we would be selected. One was selected, and he was gone. My other neighbor and I were not chosen to serve and were dismissed at the end. I thought we would shake hands and say, “Nice to have met you,” but he darted out of the courtroom without a backward glance. I don’t blame him. After all, who likes jury duty? 🙂 Praise God for meaningful connections, and for the breaking of bread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my… I’m sorry that you had jury duty…that can be such an inconvenience with scheduling work, etc. I suspect that if you had shared a buffet while you awaited jury selections, you might have gotten a handshake 😉 Food seems to break down walls amazingly well. 😉 But it is a shame that people aren’t as warm and friendly in our culture as they were when we were young. And you are right, of course. The lack of friendliness probably had something to do with the occasion–jury duty. :-/ Thank you for your thoughtful words here! It is always so great to get a glimpse into your daily life! ❤ and huge hugs!! PS So thankful you are as far south as you are. So far, Florence's path is north of you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is true. Nothing loosens the tongue like a well cooked chicken. 😉 I didn’t mind serving jury duty. If I were the defendant, I would want a good jury to hear my case. Besides, it’s one of the ways I can serve my country. But don’t get me wrong—I’m glad it’s over! 😉 Stay safe through whatever Florence may give to you. We got plenty of rain (and some wind) from Gordon last week, but all is well here. Even so, Florence is bigger and stronger, so be safe.

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      2. Ah, yes… I’ll remember to bring the Chick-fil-A to jury duty if ever I am called up! 🙂 And good for you for having such a godly attitude about jury duty… of course, you do! 🙂 As far as Flo goes here, so far, we have been insulated completely. I am truly grateful, but am praying like crazy for all those who were so unfortunate as to be in Flo’s path! ❤ and hugest of hugs!!

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  10. What a beautiful gift to meet other artists and to have them encourage you, Lynn. It was a God-thing, right? 🙂 Your stories and paintings here always warm my heart and inspire my soul. I love that Jesus gives us “vivid images of God’s plan and grace” in His parables. Thank you for the encouraging reminder of who we are in Him! Love and hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely was a “God thing,” dearest Trudy!! God is so amazingly good, isn’t He? I’m so grateful to have met you here! You and your friendship are certainly a gift from Him! Thank you for your extraordinary kindness and uplifting comment here! You are a treasure! ❤ ❤ and hugs to you right back!!

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  11. Lynn, would love to walk down the road in your painting here. What better place to go than the WORD for inspiration for your paintings! And you can really just go outside and “see” HIS creation.
    Gathering together at the table…….with JESUS as our HOST is a constant dream of mine. Can you imagine??!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dearest Maxine… I simply cannot even begin to imagine how amazing it will be, dear Maxine! But I am absolutely thrilled about our hope in Christ! What an incredible day that will be! Thank you for blessing me with those thoughts this afternoon! What joy you have inspired with your beautiful comment here! Thank you with all my heart! ❤ and huge hugs!! ❤ ❤

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    1. Yes, me too, dear Meredith! It’s a shame that our current culture is so very busy and that there doesn’t seem to be as much time as there once was for this sort of fellowship. Sigh. But as you note, it truly is an extraordinary blessing when we take time to break bread together. 🙂 Thank you for your lovely and thoughtful comment! You have definitely encouraged me! Love and hugs!! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And I so love your posts, Meredith! I feel such a connection to you… I home-schooled our son all the way through high school. I know what an enormous undertaking it can be, and I admire you for your commitment to your family! You inspire me! God bless you greatly! ❤ and huge hugs!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much, Meredith! My weekend was much lovelier than anticipated since the eye of the Florence Hurricane missed us! (And I am truly grateful, but have been praying continually for friends and everyone in the storm’s path). Over the weekend, we celebrated our son’s 23rd birthday. So, all in all, it couldn’t have been a better few days. 😀 ❤ ❤

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  12. Thank you Lynn for sharing what I’m sure many would say yes to. God’s Truth is in every Word of the Scriptures but like you I Love His Parables and the Life Stories that share His, Love, Guidance and Eternal Hope and I’m sure others do too.

    As you shared Lynn Hospitality is very important and yes we are to even welcome Strangers into our Homes as you and your Husband experienced it lead to warm Fellowship and when Christ centered it is Refreshment for our Soul too.

    As we know the early Church met everyday to break bread, not just one day a week and than they went to the Temple to hear the Scriptures, are we as committed today as they were.

    Acts 2:44-47 …….And they continuing daily with one accord in the Temple and breaking bread from house to house did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of Heart, Praising God and having favour with all the People. And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.

    Please always feel welcomed Lynn with your Husband to be my Guests if you visit Aussie Land.

    Christian Love Always – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My home is humble Lynn but I would be more than Happy if you and your Husband do come to Aussie Land for you to stay with me for all of your Holiday, it will cut down your Costs greatly and of course you could come and go as wanted and also stay as long as you want to.

        This offer will always be available for you Lynn and your Husband and regardless of when you come you will always be Welcome.

        Blessings – Anne.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Absolutely true and remembrance of how much grace we are shown. I love the countryside image and the unpaved road. It reminds me of how, no matter the environment or rough the road, Jesus Christ walks along with us, loving us and helping to guide our ways – as we allow Him. 🙂

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  14. Wow, you gave saying grace at the table new meaning for me!!! It is true, breaking bread is so important and truly can draw us together. What a lovely outing you had, some beautiful memories too!!!

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