On Sunday we entered with Jesus into the city of Jerusalem with shouts of Hosanna and the waving of palm branches. And tonight we join him and his disciples in the upper room for a meal. In one of my favorite Eucharistic prayers, the last supper is described in this way:
...on the night that he was betrayed, gathered with faltering friends for a meal that tasted of freedom...As on that night, so here and now he offers himself in touch and taste beyond what words can hold. Great is the mystery of faith. (Prayers for an Inclusive Church).
Jesus was gathered with his faltering friends. And among them, he gave them his blessing and commission:
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Sometimes it’s easy for us to stand back and wonder how it is that the disciples seemed to get it wrong, that they would be described as “faltering friends”. But the truth of the matter is, we all get it wrong. I get it wrong. You get it wrong. None of us are perfect. And yet, we are still disciples, we are still learning to heal, pray, comfort, and love one another. That’s part of what this night is about.
In preparing for tonight, I came across this reflection that I wanted to share with you from Jay Cooper Rochelle:
Often we grasp after our own lives, clinging to them, holding them in place where they are. To this clinging comes Jesus, urging us to unlock our fingers, our minds , our hearts, and learn a new way. In the breaking of the bread, in the drinking of the wine, we see this truth: in the losing of life, we find our true lives in Christ. We are called to a life of service, in which we discover who we really are...In following Jesus, we hold onto this promise: as we are emptied, we will be filled; as we die, we will live. (What Wondrous Love, 38).
So tonight, let’s gather together with Jesus and the other faltering friends, let’s surrender and go of our own lives---our egos, desires, goals and objectives--and be filled with the mystery of faith in the washing of feet and a meal that tastes of freedom.
I don't know what the future of the church is, but I know that we will continue to be a place of sanctuary and hope, working towards healing in the world.