Wednesday, June 22, 2011

At Table

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this. Luke 22:14-23

These days we spend a great deal of time around my mother's kitchen table. We sit and talk over various meals and she tells us about her childhood and our family. Sitting with those you love, over a meal, is a great act of intimacy. We use cups and plates that generations have used. We harvest from our garden with new and ancient tools, and cook with ancient pots and pans which have been in the family for generations. All around us the living and the dead gather at the table, through story and old relics of bygone eras. None of us are alone at the table. We are surrounded by the witnesses, ancient ones, and by the voices though dim which remind us of the love we share. The Lilies in the garden that bloom so profusely are a reminder of those who planted so that we might still enjoy them.

Jesus sat at table and share bread and wine. This act of intimacy, which we share in our various communities, is our presence at that first table, that Passover, that was wracked with anxiety and betrayal. We know our own and yet in the midst of all of the scars and burdens we might bear, we are surrounded by throngs of witnesses to the abiding love of God in our lives, intimately tied to our Creator and Redeemer.

Today, I want to live as a child at table, absorbing the great lessons of love and charity that are here. Acting on God's mitzvah to share the meal and remember the love that would sacrifice everything so that we might live. May all our acts of love and charity this day be offerings to God in thanksgiving for Christ's willingness to share at table, intimate love and care that never ends.

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