Friends, you are invited to Jesus’ table. But come to the table knowing that while Jesus and his disciples gathered, Roman soldiers reported for their watch, and religious leaders waited for news of Jesus’ capture. Nevertheless, they gathered and talked and waited for the host to spread the banquet. At the same time Jesus and his disciples gathered, the Roman governor attended to his dispatches and the waiting council chamber was a mess of busyness and urgency. While they gathered, guards were posted, and mobs of confused and conflicted people started to collect outside the courtyard. Then, in the way celebrities do, the High Priests began arriving one by one to the courtyard.
Even as cross beams were brought in with ominous intent and carpenters were fashioning a cross, Jesus and his disciples gathered seemingly oblivious to what was happening. As they gathered, Jesus was explaining the true purpose of his life and unveiling to those in his midst what they might expect. They listened as Jesus revealed God’s purpose for him, and although they did not quite understand the implications for what was to follow, their hearts yearned for salvation.
Friends, Jesus invites us to come together at his table, to share bread and wine, just as it was done on that first night and as generations before us had done. So let us gather, daring to believe that God’s purposes continue to be found and fulfilled. Let us gather, praying that as people of God, the examples left for us by earlier generations better equip us to live out this Sacrament in public places, seeking to meet Christ in a way that will renew and strengthen us to continue in the task Jesus started so long ago.
Let us, as we gather, join our voices with a multitude of voices in a world that is in need of hope and saving grace, in the mist of pain and suffering. Although we might at times become doubtful and confused, help us to trust the path of righteousness and not default to the path of hurt and pain in this fractured and uncertain world.
Let us be light where darkness will insist on trying to break through. Let us bring the Christ light with us – bringing peace where there is trouble and hope where there is despair.
Friends, let us gather like Jesus and his disciples did, to share, to talk, to long for salvation and to allow the Christ light to shine in our hearts ~ Amen.