Thursday, August 25, 2011

Supper with Friends

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. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the1 covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Mark 14:22-26

In the spring, we went grocery shopping late one night. At the checkout, they were giving out coupons for free matzoh. Since passover was over, I guess the management felt that no one would come to buy matzoh at the south jersey market. I can't help but think, as we prepare for an evacuation and exodus from this place, how the last supper, the passover, was a simple meal with friends before everything changed. Our communion, so routinized, which is based on that last supper, has none of the portent or expectation. And yet, as a storm bares down on our coast, I am now very aware how important last meals are, as well as making sure there is simple food for the journey and supplies for the aftermath.

Jesus is at the last supper with friends, although they have no idea the significance of this particular Seder. Routine for good Jewish families, they were going through the normal practices, the routine. And yet Jesus changed it all a bit. It became for them a seminal moment, a time when the world changed for them and for us. A moment in history, set apart, to remember and in remembering, join the living present with the enlivening past. What may be routine on Sunday mornings, is nothing short of our entering a portal which makes us part of the divine story, a participant in the love of God made manifest for the world.

Today, as we get ready for the possible evacuation, there is much to be busy with. I ask God to help me be quiet and calm in the midst of storm preparations, trusting that God will provide the way forward, even in threatening times. May we all have the strength to enjoy the simple suppers with friends and family and trust every moment to the loving hands of a most loving and powerful Creator, who promises to be at table with us and on the evacuation route as well.

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