A very dear friend of mine flew down to our area to bring much-needed help to her drug-addicted son. Trapped in a cycle of addictions, imprisonment and rehab, with the cycle repeating over and over again like the "Lather, rinse, repeat" instructions on the shampoo bottle, she came filled with hope that she could reach his heart and help him end the destructive cycle. The two of them spent their first night together in our home and it was a Friday night. So, when they awoke the next morning, I fixed breakfast and then followed the leading of the Holy Spirit as I brought out my two Sabbath candles and a cup of grape juice and a tray of bread.
I looked straight at her son, bleary-eyed and broken, and asked him, "Does this mean anything to you, this bread and this cup?" He did not hesitate. "Yeah, it means that I am in Covenant with my God." It took my breath away. "What a profound and perfect answer!" I commended him. "How wonderful to know that -- because our God 's Covenant is His Promise and He never breaks a promise," I added.
He solemnly nodded in agreement. We all sang the blessings in Hebrew and English and then shared the bread and the cup together, and a strong Presence of the Lord filled the room. The Spirit instructed me that I should take one of this young man's arms and John should take the other, and then we read the story of Aaron and Hur holding up the arms of Moses so that Israel could keep winning the battle over their enemies, even when Moses' arms had become to weak to hold them up. "You are in a great battle," we told him, "and so as you go back out there into the world, you need to remember that both of us are holding your arms up in prayer." Both he and his mother shed tears and we knew it was a moment when our Lord had come and revealed Himself very personally in the breaking of the Bread and the drinking of the Cup.
On the next weekend, John and I were alone on Shabbat morning, finishing our coffee, and I felt the Spirit told me to get my bible and read from this week's Torah portion in Exodus. It had been a rough week. So many signs of rapid decline in John's ability to communicate and find words and remember things had cropped up since the brain injury he just suffered, that I had spent a lot of time researching until I finally found the NAME of this condition and it explained so much that I have experienced with him for the last nine years, but did not understand. It is called Broca's Aphasia and it described to a "T" his struggle with finding words, with reading or writing words, and with numbers. The Language part of the brain has lesions that are increasingly impeding his ability to communicate. I was really in a tender, vulnerable place that morning, and had a sense that when we began to read from God's Word in Exodus, He would speak to me.
Exodus 16:11-15: While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the LORD appearing in the cloud. The LORD said to Moses, "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.' That evening quail came and covered the camp and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, 'What is it?' For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, 'It is the bread the LORD has given you to eat.'
As I read these verses, my eyes began to leak, and by the time I reached the end of the portion, I could no longer see for the tears. These words penetrated my heart: "IN THE MORNING YOU WILL BE FILLED WITH BREAD. THEN YOU WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD." He appeared to them in the glory-cloud and then revealed Himself to them in the Bread! I was just so filled with awe, seeing the Messiah reveal Himself to the people of Israel (the people of the Covenant) the same way He had revealed himself to the young homeless man at my table.
That was two powerful witnesses, but there was to be a third connection I had not made. When I shared this story with another good friend, she suddenly exclaimed, "Kelly, it's like the men on the road to Emmaus! They did not know him until he broke bread with them!" Luke 24:30-32: When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'
This act of sharing the Bread and the Cup is more powerful than most understand. It is not just a ritual and it is not just a blessing. It is a revelation of the Living Yeshua/Jesus, who makes His Presence known to us in a very real way, and makes our hearts burn with a deeper longing to know Him and His Word. It is a bread that heals us, that fills us, and that brings us into Everlasting Covenant with our God. It is the BREAD OF LIFE.
John 6:32-33: Yeshua said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from Heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from Heaven. For the Bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives life to the world."
Kelly Ferrari Mills