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Maundy Thursday – A Reflection

April 9, 2020
Communion Table in the Chapel at Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO

The bread had been broken and the cup had been poured. Through Scripture and Music we walked with Jesus and the Disciples from the Upper Room to Gethsemane. There we witnessed Jesus praying with all of his heart and soul… Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass… nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.

As Denise narrated and I read the Scripture passages tears came to my eyes a number of times. I kept going back in my mind to Luke 22:19-20 — This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me… This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant sealed in my blood.

This is his body… this is his blood… as we moved from Gethsemane to the High Priest’s house, the weight of it kept getting heavier for me. I wept quietly as Peter denied him three times before the cock crowed… In the silence I pondered the scene. As the solo, “Were You There” was played, I again felt the tears rise. In this time of the Pandemic with COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) is sweeping the nation and world, I felt the heaviness of this night in a new way. I wept with Peter for all the times that I too have denied Christ. I wept for Jesus as he was beaten and spat upon. We left Jesus there at the High Priest’s house as the dawn was breaking.

In his poem, “The Vine” Thomas Merton spoke of the spring in Gethsemane and Holy Week.

When wind and winter turn our vineyard

To a bitter Calvary,

What hands come out and crucify us

Like the innocent vine?

How long will starlight weep as sharp as thorns

In the night of our desolate life?

How long will moonlight fear to free the naked prisoner?

Or is there no deliverer?

A mob of winds, on Holy Thursday, come like murderers

And batter the walls of our locked and terrified souls.

Our doors are down, and our defense is done.

In the Darkness Before Dawn: New Selected Poems. (p. 53)

As the shadows of night surround us… comfortable in our homes… may we remember the one who faced the mob of winds on Holy Thursday… may we walk with him through the night…

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