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The Last Supper | John 13:1-30 or Mark 14:12-26
We call today “Maundy” Thursday because of the Latin word “mandatum,” which means “commandment.” It reminds us of Jesus’ commandment to “Love one another as I have loved you” spoken to his disciples at this Passover dinner celebration.
Jesus and his friends gather to share the Passover meal. A yearly ritual at the heart of their faith, it’s the embodiment of the primal narrative, or key story of what it means to know God as a loving liberator who is both with and for us. They ate traditional foods, found in the story of the Exodus. As they ate, touched, and talked, they remembered the story of the exodus with historical imagination. It wasn’t just a story in the past– it was their story in the moment of that day.
It’s in this connective context that Jesus gives a new ritual: communion. To eat bread and drink wine together is to remember who Jesus is, what Jesus is about, and what it means to Walk in the Way of Jesus as a disciple. There is a power in doing and thinking, of connecting our bodies, minds, and spirit. It associates our memories with our present, our thoughts with our actions, our relationships with our deepest hopes.
Today, practice this connectivity by eating mindfully. Maybe a whole meal or even a light snack. Sit down. Chew slowly. Savor each bite. Appreciate each flavor. What textures do you feel?; What smells do you encounter? How do the flavors, textures, and smells change or impact each other? Are there other memories of favorite meals, long ago moments or those who have loved you as Jesus loved that come to mind as you eat mindfully?
Take your time. Appreciate each bite. Allow yourself to float away into your memories. Give thanks for how your past memories and experiences have shaped the present, how they’re all connected in the mysterious provision of God.