Taken, Blessed, Broken, Given

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.
     - Luke 9:16

The Catholic monk and spiritual author Henri Nouwen reflects on this verse of scripture in his remarkable little book, In the Name of Jesus (If you haven't read it, here's where you can get it). At the core of what Nouwen says is that we are the bread, and the same four movements you see in this verse are the ways in which Jesus moves in our lives.

  1. Jesus takes us. He chooses us. He wants us. 
  2. Jesus blesses us. That's another way to translate "he gave thanks." Jesus adds his blessing to us, pronouncing his delight in us, full of joy over us.
  3. Jesus breaks us. He shows us the truth about our messy lives. He shines the light on the cracks that we've been hiding.
  4. Jesus gives us. He sees a hungry world, and he sends us into it to nourish those in need.

Take some time today to meditate on this verse - perhaps closing your eyes, perhaps envisioning Jesus taking, blessing, breaking and giving the bread, perhaps imagining Jesus taking, blessing, breaking, and giving you. Then reflect back to Jesus the thoughts and feelings that arise.