What a special time we had last Thursday. We watched part of the BBC drama ‘The Passion’ covering the events of the last supper and Gethsemane. Then we reminded ourselves of some of the background to those events before taking 10 minutes’ silence to reflect and pray.
We considered what areas of service we most struggle with and how we might let Jesus wash our feet?
We considered the symbolism of unleavened bread in the Jewish tradition – with yeast signifying pride and sin… the three matzot on the table being known as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and how it is ‘Isaac’ that is broken in the Passover meal – the patriarch taken to be sacrificed at Mount Moriah (associated with the Temple mount in Jerusalem)… the ‘afikomen’ – the half of ‘Isaac’ hidden during the meal – meaning ‘afters’ or ‘that which is to come’… We shared the broken matzah and asked what this bread said to us – the body of Christ broken – the unleavened bread – the Isaac – the that-which-is-to-come bread…
We looked again at the 4 promises remembered from Exodus 6:6-7 in the 4 cups of wine:
I will bring you out – the cup of deliverance
I will deliver you from slavery – the cup of freedom
I will redeem you with a demonstration of my power – the cup of redemption
I will acquire you as a nation – the cup of consummation
It was the third cup Jesus redefined as his blood – the one following the main meal and so also known as the cup of thanksgiving – from which we derive the term eucharist – and he refused the fourth cup, saying he would drink of this in his Father’s kingdom… We shared wine and contemplated what this wine said to us…
And we reflected on Jesus sweating blood and how this is a sign of acute stress. Jesus was terribly afraid, despairing of his friends who couldn’t stay awake for him… We found ourselves all wanting to speak to Jesus in that awful moment…
And then we talked – we asked all sorts of questions and pondered on how it was… Did God hold his breath in fear that Jesus might exert his free will and flee? Did Jesus truly have a choice? Was John Mark there (as suggested in his Gospel) meaning that even when Jesus felt alone, he was not?
Thanks to all who came – it was the most profound Maundy Thursday I have experienced and to have done that with such friends made it very special indeed. Wend