Maunday Thursday Reflection
26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.'
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.'
30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Meditation of John the Apostle
We were there in the upper room, just us and Jesus,
the night drawing in,
the end drawing near.
We knew it,
he knew it.
There could be no doubt any more, not for any of us; no question of a last-minute reprieve.
We'd seen Judas sneaking out, darkness in his eyes,
and we knew it wouldn't be long before the vultures descended, hungry to devour their prey.
We wanted him to run for it; back to Nazareth,
back to Galilee,
back to the safety of the wilderness, anywhere but there in Jerusalem.
But he wouldn't listen, of course, wouldn't even consider it.
So, we stayed with him, nervous,
one eye over our shoulders, but determined to do our best for him.
He was under no illusions;
he knew full well what was coming - an ugly, agonising death.
And it was getting to him, eating away inside,
that much we could all see.
When he broke bread, he was trembling, clearly petrified about what lay ahead;
and as he shared the wine, there was a sob in his voice, a tear in his eye.
Yet then he spoke, softly,
almost as if in a dream,
and we realised he was praying - not for himself,
but for us!
Not for his own life,
but for the life of the world!
Yes, I know that sounds hard to believe, but it's true, honestly. I was there, remember;
I heard him.
It wasn't his death that was troubling him,
it was the fear that we wouldn't stay together, that somehow we'd become divided,
even end up fighting among ourselves.
God knows why he thought that,
but you could see how worried he was, how much our unity meant to him.
It was his dying wish in a way, his last request -
that we should stay together: one people,
one faith, one God.
I'm sure he needn't have worried, least of all at a time like that.
All right, so we've had our differences since then, I admit it - we don't always see things the same way,
and maybe once in a while we might even have fallen out -
but I honestly can't imagine anything major corning between us, can you, not in the long run?
After all, we're his disciples, aren't we, each one of us?
- called by him,
all confessing the same Lord,
and what could ever be more important than that?
Lord Jesus Christ,
we have eaten the bread and drunk from the cup, and so once more proclaimed your death.
Now let us go back to the world
and proclaim your death there, through the people we are
and the lives we live.
May we make known your love, make real your compassion, make clear your grace,
.and so make nearer your kingdom,
until you come. Amen