the “this” in Holy Thursday

April 2, 2010

Last night something occurred to me about Holy Thursday.  Essentially, it marks the “last supper” and while I wasn’t there and am not Jewish, I’ve always had a bit of a difficult time relating to it.

Luke’s account has this line, “And [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'”

That’s usually where I get stuck in mass or church.  It just seems like an odd moment – and while I believe in its truth and the power of the communion ritual, I guess I’ve never really connected to it on all that personal of a level.  But last night it finally occurred to me:

before it was a sacrament, it was just supper.

it was a passover meal, so yeah, it was a special day – but it was basically the equivalent of our 4th of July barbeque.  One part ritual (hmmm, burgers) and another part celebration.  It was just friends coming together like friends do.

So when Jesus says do this in remembrance of me, maybe he’s talking about the people as much as he’s talking about the bread.

Friends in a room has an electric feel to it.  There’s life, laughter, connections being made or deepened.  Even if there’s gossip and petty stuff – it’s still us, relating to each other.  In any room, at an meal, there are people having a very human experience.  And of course, that’s exactly where the God of scriptures would want to be.

So as followers of Jesus who are propelled into that room two-thousand years later on days like Holy Thursday, maybe Jesus is saying here I am, take me!  Go and take a million experiences with His Spirit – with the divine; the instances where things are so so true and good you can’t help but know it was totally from God – and break them – try to understand their truth and power.  And eat.  Feed off of the way they make you a better version of yourself, more alive, more free.

And remember.

As often as you get together, eat together, hang out together, be together – remember me.  Remember how the way I loved you changed you and then you’ll be in a place where you can give it all away.  You can set the stage for Easter, for someone else to find that same kind of life.  And that stuff happens at a party – because before it was “holy” it was just a Thursday.  It was just a party.

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