Lord, we come to this day with the humility You taught us through Your Words and Actions on this night. In a span of hours, You prepared us with a way to connect with You in repentance and forgiveness, You sought Your Father for help in bearing Your burden, knowing those closest to You would fall short in supporting You at crucial times. You were arrested. You speak to each of us in different ways through the experiences of this night - please prepare our hearts to surrender and receive the Gifts of Your Word. Amen. Today's reading comes from Matthew 26:26-46: While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “ ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.
Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"
Wow! SO MUCH to be unpacked in these verses and my heart is reminded once again and humbled once again by all that My Lord did for me this week that literally changed my life and the lives of generations before me and after me. It truly leaves me speechless.
Tonight has a special meaning for our family -- one we haven't yet experienced. Tonight our oldest daughter joins us in communion for the first time. It's been amazing to watch and hear her process the magnitude of the Sacrament and what it means to her as she prepares for tonight.
This morning I read the verses above from a parent's perspective and a phrase caught my eye that hadn't before - "I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
I've always seen Communion as a chance to remember this first Communion between Jesus and His disciples, what Christ did for me and how my slate is wiped clean thanks to his sacrifice for me. But I never really saw it as a promise for a future First Communion with Him! How exciting is that! I'm emotional and beside myself today as I look forward to sharing this Meal with my daughter - how much more so must He be for the day when He gets to Commune with us!
Lord, Your Grace is simply overwhelming today. I thank You for the Sacraments You have instituted, knowing our hearts need reminding of what has already taken place and what will take place in the future. I'm just in awe of You and Your love for me. Amen.
I would love to hear your thoughts on today and the experiences you had during this Holy Week. Lisa