Thursday, March 24, 2016

On the Night that he was Betrayed

On the night that he was betrayed

We remember that night tonight.
I will not be going to church but today I spend time with Jesus and remember.
The betrayal of one,
          the denial of another,
                       the falling away of the rest of the disciples
    The plotting and planning of the religious establishment
                       The collusion of the government. 
                                       Which takes us  to the cross.

But tonight we are at a table.
And I remember another table: You prepare a table in the midst of my enemies.  This is the table. Which represents self giving love of Jesus.
And so I think today about enemies. 

  •  Our enemies in ISIS or North Korea or Iran.  That kind of enemies

  • our enemies are our political foes – as our  language is heating up and there is so much polarization and brokenness in our country

  • our  enemies are within us all – our shadow selves of pride, arrogance, fear, anxiety that lead us to betrayal, denial and falling away

But we come to the table aware of the reality of enemies and there we encounter Jesus who gives us himself.  I found this picture that helps to capture what my mind's eye sees - a gathering around Jesus in the midst of darkness.  This is a moment of light. 

They are with him and experiencing his warmth and love and in the bread and the wine they are "receiving" what He can give:  
   Strength for the journey,
                     faith in the midst of confusion and doubt,
                                      courage to stand tall in the face of hate.

One more time Jesus is trying to prepare his disciples for what is coming, but probably they do not understand much.  And I wonder – how much do we understand ever about the mystery of this meal in the midst of the violence and the darkness  of holy week.

I am grateful today to have the time to reflect on all of it: 
  On the night that he was betrayed, he broke bread with his flawed and fallible followers 
and in a symbolic act  handed  himself over to them 
so that they might be fed now and 
remember later his promise of the new covenant.

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