This night is all about Jesus…as He lovingly washed the disciples’ feet…as He celebrated the Passover with his closest friends…as He shared bread and wine with them in a new way… as he called them to a deeper relationship with each other, giving them a new commandment, “love one another”.
It is about Jesus. But it is also about each one of us as Christian disciples and about the Body of Christ, the Church.
How would you respond if Jesus knelt in front of you, prepared to wash your feet? The disciples felt uncomfortable, partly because he was their rabbi, a person to be respected, who shouldn’t, in their view, act as servant…and partly because although they knew him, but they weren’t sure they knew him that well. Would not Jesus, however, feel as comfortable washing their feet, as a parent does, bathing their baby’s toes.
And what would be your mood as you sat down to the Seder meal? The occasion is, of course a religious commemoration, but it’s also party time! Aren’t you ready to relax, have some special foods, a glass of wine, great conversation? And later, when Jesus admits that he knows who will betray him, would that not prompt a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach?
Then Jesus, taking bread and wine, said, “This is my body…this is the new covenant in my blood…do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me”. Would you not see your own confusion mirrored in the eyes of the others around the table, and wonder what on earth Jesus was doing?
And when he charged you to love …”Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” Did it fill you with a warm glow or did you have second thoughts about loving this motley group?
We are involved in this story; not simply because we re-enact the events but because we belong to the membership that is the Christian Church. Jesus’ actions and words, are done and said for us and for the whole communion, that is, the millions of believers worldwide who join together in community this night to break bread and to remember.
The guests have arrived. The water is warm and the towels ready. The table is set. “For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful.” Amen
Note: Tomorrow is Good Friday, a fast day. Consider fasting from solid food beginning this evening until your supper tomorrow night. If you shouldn’t fast because of health issues, try eating smaller meals, enough to keep your blood sugar balanced but not so much that you are replete. Spend the time you would be preparing a meal, or sharing it, in quiet, even prayerful, pursuits.