Thursday, April 1, 2010
Bread and Wine
And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. Mark 14:22-23
Today we celebrate Maundy Thursday, the institution of the Eucharist, the offering of bread and wine as Christ's body and blood. We will read and remember how on that night he washed the disciples' feet and offered them a new understanding of God reign. A reign of service and humility, where God himself offered his very flesh and blood. A very incarnate understanding of a reign of service and a life of offering. We also contemplate the events of this night, the betrayal, the poignant moments in the garden, along with the chaos and trauma of the arrest. It is a drama for all ages and all times. This drama encompasses the worst human behavior demonstrated while God responds with patience and redemption. Our meanest selves are on display and God offers flesh and blood for the healing of the us all. God comes in flesh and offers in love a perfect life for our broken world. Bread and wine seem a small and inadequate substitute for such an enormous love offering. Words fail on days like these.
So today, I pray that I can keep in prayer as we begin the great drama of the next few days. This world is on a fragile edge and continues to prefer the meanest human responses to abundant and gracious love. We are fragile, on the edge, and thinking we are in our right minds and justified in our actions. I pray that God will change my heart and other hearts in the coming hours and days. As we prepare together for this great drama, may we be open to God's transforming love - a love that offers service in the face of arrogance, which offers forgiveness in the face of betrayal, and which stands ready to offer everything for the life of the whole world.