Of all the rites and rituals Jesus could have chosen, he decided to commemorate his approaching death and resurrection with the sharing of a meal. Sharing a meal is a sacred experience in itself. There is a tender vulnerability to arriving at a table hungry, and relying on the host to provide the nourishment your hungry body needs. There is also an intimacy that occurs when people sit around the table sharing their stories.
A family bonds as they share stories of their day over dinner. The very first thing a new mommy does to nurture her child is to feed her newborn. When enemies sit at a table together, all weapons, threats, and hatred are temporarily left at the door (or at the least, softened a bit).
Recently I started spending some of my time cooking meals for a local nursing home. It's ridiculous how much I love the work! I love prepping eggs and waffles, chicken and rice, goulash and potatoes, and many other interesting and nutritious meals. One of the things I love the most is that I am cooking for a vulnerable population -- many are people who cannot cook for themselves. Without someone to provide their meals, they would perish quickly. To be given the privilege of preparing their meals with care and thoughtfulness, creativity and attention -- it's amazing! It is truly a gift -- to me -- to participate in this work.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Matthew 26:26-30
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.