Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Why all the fuss?

Reflections for the Holy Days MAUNDY THURSDAY

Maundy Thursday

Why all this fuss about the Eucharist?
It has become a language
Perhaps a poetry of the way we talk about God.
We celebrate that Jesus calls us to serve
That is the washing of the feet.
Itself an act of humility, not a neutral act at all.
It is at once confronting.
Do I really want to touch someone’s feet?
Can I allow someone to touch my feet?
It is a challenge about the way we deal with people.
Do we withhold ourselves?
Christ Jesus was in the form of God, but he did not cling to equality with God.
Do we withhold ourselves?

We share a ritual meal.
Frederic Buechner says “We take the profane and make it holy”
It is the pattern of our whole life.
In this body will be broken and blood will be shed.

We say words that remind us of death.
This is my broken Body, and this is my shed Blood.
Our society tries not to talk about death
But is often very careless about life.

It is a reminder that someone we love is no longer with us
Probably all of us feel that from time to time.

Christmas, anniversaries, Easter…my grandmother died on Good Friday.

And then we talk about a mystery.
About how Jesus is present.
After 60 years of Eucharist I have had plenty of experience of this.
Sometimes this Real Presence is totally tangible.
{This is not theological point-scoring about how Jesus might or might not be present}
it is the lived experience of the Christian

Sometimes it is the fact that we are just giving ourselves up to worship
Sometimes it is because we can see the rightness of our service, either as individuals ort as a church or as a community
Sometimes the worship is ordinary, and the footwashing is poor. But we know Jesus as we gather together. We are the Body of Christ
(It is not an unwounded or perfect body necessarily}
Sometimes it is simple remembrance

But I suggest that what keeps bringing us back is that somehow we encounter Jesus.

So we say those words.
The disciples knew Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

It’s, as I say, a mystery
To which we can open ourselves.

As we begin these Three Holy Days
Do what you can to open yourself to this mystery.

Jesus, made known in the service of others
and in the breaking of the bread

be with us this night and through these days

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