Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Maundy Thursday

Notes towards a sermon. Readings are here. Exodus tells of the origins of Passover – Blood on the door posts and the lintel. A spring festival of birth – lambing – a way to ensure safe passage for all being born. All entryways were daubed with blood. Flocks and herds were the wealth of the community – each loss was that much less for the whole group. So all care must be taken to bring new life. The people of Israel were about to be birthed into a new people – a free people – no longer slaves of others. It would be a long infancy – once birth was assured. Jesus – God with us – is born, lives and dies that we might know we are born into freedom. He has painted our doorways with his own blood that me might go out and in and no longer be enslaved to whatever keeps us from living. We are no longer slaves to what the world thinks – we are freed to live into the one who created us. Into the image of God that each of us can be. In the footwashing – Jesus gives us a model of that freedom. Free to take any position in the community to serve God and neighbor. Even footwashing – in those days the lowest dirtiest job. In Eucharist God feeds us with his very essence – simple wine and bread – the fruits of creation. As the seed is scattered on the hillsides and plains, grows into a fruitful crop, is gathered and ground, kneaded and shaped, baked in the oven, then broken again to feed the world – so are we that bread. The grapes grow and are made into wine – the wine of the spirit – the blood of God – infuses our days with the joy and strength to step out in faith. And though we are all followers of Christ – we are also Judas – the betrayer – who dips his bread in the wine along with the others. Remember this as you dip your bread into the wine. We have the choice each day – betray or follow? Always forgiven when falling and renewed to start again. This is what we experience this night – the story of life and death and new life. It is what we know of our lives – lived out in our sacred meal that makes every meal sacred.

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