Tonight our congregation gathered around the table in the Fellowship Hall to share a simple meal of bread and fruit and cheese followed by breaking the bread and passing the cup to remember the night that Jesus first instituted the Last Supper, or communion.
The way we mark Maundy Thursday is a bit of a mixed bag. While there is always great joy in gathering at a table with old friends and new friends who are part of our faith community, it is also a somber occasion as we remember the night that Jesus was betrayed–the night that led to Good Friday when Jesus was crucified.
But if we only let the table be a memorial, we are missing a great deal. We encounter much when we approach the table of Jesus Christ. The “bread of life” is also Jesus body “broken for us.” The “cup of salvation” is also Jesus blood “shed for us.” Sometimes the enormity of Christ’s sacrifice overshadows the gift we have in the Lord’s Supper. How privileged we are to be invited to the table. The strength we can draw from such a simple, but powerful meal.
Tonight, though, we were reminded of the joy that should always be ours whenever we gather at the table of Jesus Christ. After we had finished passing the elements and everyone had been fed, Ella (the youngest member in attendance tonight) clapped her hand together and exclaimed, “Yay!”
Yay indeed. Yay for the invitation to come to the table that is issued even to sinners like us. Yay for the unity of those gathered at the table. Yay for strengthening of our union with Christ through the simple, but powerful, elements of bread and wine.
And double-yay for the budding young theologians in our midst who help to show us the way.