For The Bread
1. For the bread which you have broken,
For the wine which you have poured,
For the words, which you have spoken,
Now we give you thanks O Lord.
2. By this pledge that you do love us,
By your gift of peace restored,
By your call to heaven before us,
Sanctify our lives O Lord.
3. With our sainted ones in glory,
Seated at our Father’s board,
May the Church that waits now for Thee,
Keep love’s tie unbroken Lord.
4. In your service Lord defend us.
In our hearts keep watch and ward.
In the world where’r you send us,
May your kingdom come O Lord.
© 2009 Kevin Twit Music (ASCAP)
For the past few years I attended City Church of East Nashville. One of the things I have really appreciated about this church is their commitment to weekly communion. Occasionally leading worship there has given me an opportunity to look for more texts on the Lord’s Supper. When I found this text by the great Presbyterian hymnologist Dr. Louis Benson, I was instantly struck by it.
It is so rare to reflect on the Lord’s Supper not just as something that nurtures us in our sorrow and sadness, but as something that whets our appetites for – and engages our longing for – the coming kingdom. “May your kingdom come!” is part of what the Lord’s Supper is about. The apostle Paul teaches us that whenever we take part in communion we proclaim (present tense) the Lord’s death (past) until He comes again (future). This hymn reminds us that the Supper is to feed us in our work to bring the kingdom of God in all the areas of brokenness we see in our world.
My sense is that very few see the Supper that way; instead, we tend to focus on it as a place where our wounds are healed. In some Christian traditions the Supper is seen merely as a reminder of something that happened in the past. But as Benson’s text shows us, the Lord’s Supper is a very real feeding on Christ by faith that makes us long even more for God’s kingdom to come. My suggestion for using this hymn during communion is to repeat the last line “May your kingdom come, O Lord” over and over, and then have another group of singers come back in with the first verse while the “May your kingdom” line is still being repeated. I love juxtaposing those two ideas of communion and longing for the kingdom in this way.
Kevin Twit (2013)