“Then he took a piece of bread, gave thanks to God, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in memory of me.” 20 In the same way, he gave them the cup after the supper, saying, “This cup is God’s new covenant sealed with my blood, which is poured out for you. “ [Luke 22 v19-20] [If you can it would be advisable to read the whole event from verse 14 – 23]
In the manse there is a painting of the Last Supper done on Papyrus which I bought when I was on holiday in Egypt. The colours are fresh and striking, the Disciples stand around Jesus in front of the table which has on it bread and wine. All but one has a Halo of gold with the Halo surrounding Jesus of a more elaborate nature. Judas is at the back without a Halo, and he is turned to one side, perhaps working out when he can quietly leave.
I think of it as that time when they have all come together as a group of friends rather than Rabbi and Disciples. Open-faced they have greeted one another and start to move forward around the table – because that is how family and friends share a meal – around a table. In that way everyone faces in towards each other and this is where conversation and companionship are to the fore.
Just like any group the talk goes on about anything and everything. The world and all its’ concerns are shut out for a while. They are in the Haven of Jesus Presence, Blessed and Loved, they can relax and be themselves for that moment. Just as we are when we share Communion with our fellow Christians in the Knowledge that we are in the Lord’s Presence. Of all of these Communions the most poignant is this one on Maunday Thursday where we remember Jesus and His Love for the world in forming this framework of devotion which binds us to Him and all who break bread together in His name.
Jesus took the Bread, Blessed it and Shared it out to the companions, even to Judas the betrayer. Perhaps they are reminded that He said that He was the Bread of Life, the sustainer and nurturer of souls. Bread which has remained throughout the centuries as the constant staple of daily living still used today as a common factor in our daily meals. It echoes the constancy of Jesus in our daily lives, still with us today and still there for us, nourishing us spiritually.
Jesus then takes Wine and Blesses it, maybe for some they [and we] are reminded of His first Miracle where water was turned into wine. This miracle symbolises God’s Abundant Grace as more than enough of the best was produced. God poured out the best for that wedding gathering in Cana where Jesus performed the miracle. God poured out His best for all of Humanity in the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Abundant and Gracious and much more than we ever deserve, for we gain nothing by our merit but by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We have not been able to meet this Maunday Thursday evening as we have in the past, not been able to sing the familiar hymns nor hear the Word of God in the Sanctuary. There is something for us all though, as we read together and pray together, we are united as the people of God witnessing once more the Upper Room of the Last Supper and are transported into His Presence as Blessed and Loved as those who first shared that meal together.
May God Bless you and Keep you this Holy Week and throughout your days. AMEN
LET US PRAY
Your word was active from the beginning and shall continue until the end of time. It brought life itself into existence and controls the destiny of everything You have created.
What You have decreed – shall be; for no word of Yours returns to You empty, help us then, to listen to what You would say to us, both this Maunday Night and through every night and day of our lives. You inspire, encourage, sustain and help us develop our capacity for Hope, supporting the growth of Love in our hearts.
We are here to receive Your forgiveness, to rejoice again in Your mercy, your generous Pardon, Your unfailing willingness to pick us up after our failures and disappointments and to receive Your offer of a New Beginning, with past put behind us and the wonder of Your light before us. We come together cleansed and renewed, fully aware of Your healing Love for us.
LORD HAVE MERCY ON US,
LORD HAVE MERCY ON US,
LORD HAVE MERCY ON US AND GRANT US YOUR PEACE.
WE ASK IN JESUS NAME.
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