A continuation of my “Holy Week at Home” posts; on Maundy Thursday we commemorate Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, as well as Jesus’ anguish and arrest in the garden of Gethsemane.
Before I must die, he says, let me show you what cannot be killed.
Always, your tyrants will stumble. Your temples will fall. Time and plague lay will lay waste. Enmity will wound.
But there is something else, something underneath and beyond the brittle, crumbling certainties of this (and every) age. Something eternal.
Let us gather together at this table so you might glimpse it, dancing in the shadows as your faces shine in the lamplight. Let me feed you here, let me cleanse you. Let me be with you forever in this moment, even when I must go.
Begin to understand, beloved ones, that there are things more precious than that which you can hold onto. You must begin to see the strange inversion of Truth: how service is power; how love is relinquishment; how death opens us to life.
I admit that I could never explain this to you adequately in words alone. So now I can only demonstrate. I can only *be* for you what is commanded for us all. My tools are bread and wine and water basin. And tomorrow there will be other instruments, but let us not speak of them yet.
Oh, beloveds, how I have loved you, ever since my breath first swept across the waters, ever since I molded you from dust. How I have longed to be known by you.
And so, as you have said to me so often through the cascading generations, I now say to you:
Here Am I.
I Am Here.
I have come from across eternity to kneel before you. To breathe across this water. To wash the earth from your feet of dust.
I am the unkillable offering. I give you myself so that you will know how, even if you do not know why.
Do the same, always, in remembrance of me.