Tonight's Meal

Diana Butler Bass has preached a Maundy Thursday sermon in which she makes the point that though we very much view the Passover meal Jesus shared with his disciples through the lens of the cross - Jesus' disciples certainly didn't. They did not know what was about to happen. They were sharing a meal with their friend and teacher who spent much of his ministry up to that point sharing tables and food with others.

Bass then makes the interesting point that after the resurrection, Jesus doesn't go back to the site of his execution. He doesn't take his friends there and rehash all that happened to him. He doesn't valorize the events of Friday to them at all. He never mentions them. "Yes, wounds remain, but how he got them isn't mentioned. Instead, almost all the post-resurrection appearances - which are joyful and celebratory and conversational - take place at the upper room table or at other tables and meals."

Bass suggests that perhaps the power of Maundy Thursday is that it is .. 'The Last Supper of the Old World. The last meal under Rome, the last meal under any empire. And it is the first feast of the Kingdom That Has Come. The first meal of the new age, the world of mutual service, reciprocity, equality, abundance, generosity, and unending thanksgiving. Pass the cup. Keep it going, hand to hand, filled and refilled, time after time. This night is the final night of dominion, the end of slavery; and this night is the first night of communion, the beginning of true freedom: "I will no longer call you servants but friends."

I think I'll come to Christ's table tonight with this in mind. And I know with all my heart - Jesus will be there to welcome me. And you. And so many more.

Shalom to you.