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Thursday, 29 March 2018

March 29, 2018

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday

March 29, 2018

Luke 22:7-23


My brother and sister-in-law came to our house bringing gifts for my son’s third birthday.  He was excited about the gifts and couldn’t wait to open them.  The first was a rectangular box neatly wrapped.  Andy tore off the paper and opened the box.  It was a sweater.  He looked up and said, “I hate this!”


Luckily my brother and sister-in-law laughed. They knew how kids can be.


One generation later now, I found a couple of Nexo Knight costumes on clearance at Target and, after obtaining consent from my son, bought one for each of my grandsons.  Ben, the oldest was super excited and quickly put his on.  Christian, on the other hand, looked disappointed to the extent he was almost ready to cry.  He turned to my wife and me and said, “You shouldn’t have got me this.” 


I also was able to laugh about his reaction, yet, at the same time, I was a little sad.  I had bought it for him.  I had thought of him and had hoped he would have really liked the gift.  It was from me for him.


“For you!”   Jesus repeats those words twice tonight in our lesson.  The gifts he was sharing didn’t really seem like much.  He was giving the disciples bread and wine.  They had just finished a meal that included bread and wine.  They had finished the traditional Passover meal when Jesus added something new.


He gave them bread and, after he had given thanks and broken it, he told them it was his body.  He took a cup of wine and shared it with them saying it was the new covenant in his blood.  And he gave them a command.  “Do this in remembrance of me.”


How do you think the disciples reacted when they received the bread and wine?   Were they confused?  We they unimpressed?  Did they appreciate what he was doing, what Jesus was giving?  Do we?


Some of you are receiving this meal for the first time tonight. After the preparation class we had on Monday, I hope you appreciate all that goes into this meal?  Some of you have received this meal hundreds of times.  I hope it’s not so routine now that you don’t comprehend the power in what we’re doing, what you’re receiving tonight.


Jesus was hours away from suffering and dying.  His body would be broken. His blood would be shed.  He would allow it to happen for us.  He would do it so that our mistakes and failures can be forgiven and wiped away.  Jesus would be crucified and then raised to life so that we can have life beyond our death, too. 


Ironically enough, the sweater my son hated was worn as much or more than any clothing he has ever had.  Even more importantly, he came to believe that my brother and sister-in-law loved him and the sweater was a gift of love.


I hope Christian comes to appreciate the Nexo Knight costume . . . at least a little bit.  Better yet, I hope he knows that the gift was a gift of love, that his grandparents love him very much.


Listen to the words when you receive these gifts tonight.  “The Body of Christ, given FOR YOU!”  “The Blood of Christ, shed FOR YOU!”  


A small wafer of bread and a taste of wine may not seem like much, but this is love.  This is the love of God given for us.  Tonight we do this and we remember.  AMEN