Saturday, July 21, 2018

Take and Eat

While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night; for it is written,
‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
But after I am raised up, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.” Peter said to him, “Though all become deserters because of you, I will never desert you.” Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples. Matthew 26:26-35 
A traditional meal that will never be the same. We have all had them. One year a beloved parent was with us and then, the next year they were not. Nothing was the same. Yet, during that last meal, we behaved as we always do, laughing and arguing, praying possibly or singing, and probably eating and drinking too much. We remember it later with certain details that seem incredibly important and which we will hold on to forever. At the time, we were as nonchalant and frivolous as ever.
Jesus is with his disciples for their Seder meal. They all had participated, year after year, at home and abroad, as was their tradition, much the way American still celebrate Thanksgiving or July 4th when living in a foreign country. And at a family gathering, the usual suspects turn up and the usual antics and behaviors are seen. Later on, we called it the Last Supper, but the it was just another traditional religious meal that they knew by heart and took to nonchalantly. Later, we would hang on each word, for this was our first meal, the indication that we were all invited to God's table.
Today, I ask God to help me remember that the table, the meal is meant for all and that food and love are best shared. May we share our food and our love freely, knowing the Source of Life will surely renew and remake us as we do.

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