Sitting Down Together

The night before he was killed, Jesus ate the passover with his disciples. “And he took bread . . . and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19-20). How they must have held onto the fragments of that memory in later years! They do not seem to have understood at the time that this was their last meal with the mortal Christ. They reply in puzzlement to what he says, argue frivolously about which of them is greatest, and fall asleep in the garden. They would eat with him again, but he would come when they did not expect him, and not stay.

How thoughtful he was to give them a trope by which to remember these last precious hours! We see some of their sense of loss afterward in the account of Thomas, who was so upset at having missed Christ’s visit that he refused to believe he had come at all.

When we eat and drink in remembrance of this evening, and the day it foreshadowed, we should remember the shock and sorrow of separation, but also savor the promise of return: “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29). May we be ready when we are called to that supper!

3 comments for “Sitting Down Together

  1. Thank you for that beautiful Easter message. I often contemplate how difficult it is to grasp something even when we are told straight out because our experience lags behind the message. Truly the sacrament can be a salve to the sorrowing soul who awaits the day when experience and revelation finally converge and bring healing.

  2. Other members of my family posses fully formed understandings of the workings of Christ’s Atonement but its workings have always escaped my understanding. And in fact, I always saw religion as my doing x, y, and z without guilt and if I didn’t then such guilt’s leading me to learn just to stop. So maybe I’ve always been in an extended way a tribal Mormon qua a jewish sort within my adherences to our Scriptural canons qua an an exponentially heterodox talmud. And to go on here within this Semito-philic theme, I’ve also always been jealous for example of Seders’ of necessity being observed in Jewish homes and of course outside of the Temple’s precincts. In my youthful conception of it (which is no doubt false) this would enable me to commune with my deity in my own family’s space without concern about the crazy adherents at Church who care about certain alleged Gospel facets (short hair, bogotry towards blacks) I myself didn’t believe to be absolutely essential tenets of Mormonism. I also liked and like the concept I perceived of RABBIS imparting religious knowledge in YESHIVAS (i.(-d) e.(-st) qua more of a reality than can be done here in the bloggersphere; if you’ll pardon my trying to impart the legalese QUA into memory by randomly throwing it into sentences– ) and, to stretch the analogy even further, how if Community of Christ were qua “Reform”-style Restorationism, wouldn’t it be really cool were there to be some spin off from it (comparable to “Conservative Reform”) which could then accomodate disaffected Mormons? Who’d then be able to say “Yes, we’re ‘mormon’: just not particularly observant”?

    However if you can forgive this ‘jack above, I actually very much appreciated Ben’s putting the context of the Last Supper into the Saints’ sacramental observance for me: a context and feeling I literally FELT as I read it.

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