Thursday of Holy Week - This is my body

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

1 Corinthians 11:23-32

There is so much sacred tradition around the "Last Supper," "Maundy/Holy Thursday," and the Christian communion meal. It may be difficult to see this event without the gloss of sanctity.

Jesus, fortunately, kept it simple. It was bread and wine shared among friends and colleagues. We don't need centuries of liturgical theology to understand that.

Bread and wine, body and blood. The coming days (and centuries) will make much of what they represent. The words, and the elements, take on meaning that may obscure our ability to remember the simplicity.

The daily meal which nourishes the body for the next day of life. The love and fear in the room.

I've heard people ask if Jesus drank wine. The Bible does not specifically say, nor does it seem to be a concern of Jesus.

More importantly, he certainly served wine, in his last meal with his disciples.

He passed the cup, as a symbol of his very self, and of that communion, that kinship which was part of their fellowship. When we remember him, we remember that he also served a vision of God's kingdom. Where bread is shared. Where justice rules. Where all are kin, sisters and brothers of a heavenly parent. Where all are healed. Where peace reigns and where love grows and grows, without end.

That was enough to carry him through the long night and day which was to come. With grace, we pray it is enough to carry us until that day when new life shines forth.

Photographer (and baker) unknown. Turkish Food Flat Bread Baked Bread Traditional. Public domain (CC BY 1.0).

* New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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