The Melody of Lent
Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee
In life, in death, o Lord, abide with me
Abide with me, abide with me.
Today is Maundy Thursday. Maundy, like “Abide”, is not exactly a word we use a lot. Okay, honestly, we don’t use it at all. When was the last time you said this word in a causal conversation? Maundy means commandment. At the Last Supper, Jesus gives the commandment to love. The fact that Jesus is talking to his friends, the disciples, about love isn’t all that surprising. But, consider that these so-called, “friends” are about to desert, deny, and betray him. Talk about actions that are the exact opposite of love. Jesus preaches and teaches about love and the very next moment the disciples leave skid marks in the sand running away from Jesus or turning him into the authorities.
With friends like that…who needs enemies?
Jesus didn’t just talk about love, he embraced and embodied this word. He activated and animated love in his life. He radiated love from the core of his being.
I have said that the Holy Week story is your story. You know moments of being betrayed or denied. You know moments when people hide knifes in their words or smile to your face only to criticize you behind your back. Tonight we will gather with bread and juice/wine because Jesus preached the commandment on love around a meal. And you have had holy meals before too. Meals where laughter is practiced as a healing art. Where what is served is about more than what is on your plate, what nourishes you are the connections around the table.
Tonight is a night that is metaphor rich. Broken bread – symbolizing the brokenness of life. A cup of grace poured out to saturate our lives with unconditional love. Human emotions of distrust and distain and distance. And the shadow of a cross across our path because grief is woven into our lives.
Hold all of this. Abide in all of this. And bring all of what you have experienced this Lent to our service tonight. Bring your whole self – that your whole self might dwell in the one who meets us in our woundedness, wants, longings, hopes, fears, prayers, concerns, celebrations, deepest desires, all of this, and so much more.
I will see you tonight at our service.
Prayer: God of broken bread – meet us in all that is unresolved and uncertain; God of grace poured out, saturate and soak our souls on this day with Your love that overflows our lives. Amen.