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Home > My Spiritual Journey > Bread on the Way to the Cross (Lent and Easter 2006) > Bread on the Way to the Cross—Introduction

Introduction  |  Week 1  |   Week 2   |  Week 3  |  Week 4  |  Week 5  |  Week 6  |

Bread on the Way to the Cross

By Rev. Mark Price


Over thirty years ago, the late Henri Nouwen wrote a small book entitled, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life (New York: Image Books, 1975). According to Nouwen, he wrote the book to respond to the question, "What does it mean to live a life in the Spirit of Jesus Christ?" He wanted to give expression to what he believed to be the primary task of a spiritual life, that of "reaching out"—
toward self, toward others, and toward God.

In the midst of a turbulent, often chaotic, life we are called to reach out with courageous honesty to our innermost self, with restless care to our fellow human beings, and with increasing prayer to our God. To do that, however, we must face and explore our inner restlessness, our mixed feelings toward others, and our deep-seated suspicions about the absence of God. (Nouwen, p.15)

What I found most profound about the book was Nouwen’s use of the notion of "hospitality" to describe the aim of our reaching out to others. I had not previously connected hospitality, especially its biblical significance, with the direction of the spiritual journey. Now, years after I first read Nouwen’s book (one of his most insightful, I think), my reading of Scripture is nearly always done with an ear tuned to talk around a table, to invitations for dinner, and to miracles involving food.

I invite you during this season of Lent to pay special attention to how Christ is made known—to you and to others—in the breaking of bread. On his way to the cross, Christ is often around the table, teaching, listening, and in some way or another, reaching out to those in search of God’s kingdom.

As you make your way toward the cross this season, take time with Jesus at the table. He is reaching out to you.

Rev. Mark Price is Senior Editor of Disciple Bible Study Resources at The United Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tenn.

Introduction  |  Week 1  |   Week 2   |  Week 3  |  Week 4  |  Week 5  |  Week 6  |

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