by Cameron Trimble, author, Piloting Church
For those of us in the Christian stream, we celebrate this week as Holy Week. Today is Maundy Thursday, the day we remember Jesus' Last Supper in the Upper Room with his disciples. When we serve communion, which I have done hundreds of times in churches I have served, we tell the story of this experience over 2,000 years ago...
Jesus gathers with his disciples, and on the table is a chalice filled with wine and bread for people to eat. As the meal was nearing its end, Jesus takes the bread. He breaks it and passes it to them. He then says, "This is the bread of new life. Take and eat. Do this often in remembrance of me." Then he takes the cup, and he holds it up before them saying, "This is the cup of a new covenant made with you and with many. Drink of it, all of you, in remembrance of me."
This year this beautiful ritual means something different to me, as I suspect it does to you. In writing this, I am thinking of all of the faces, the eyes, I have looked into while breaking Sacred bread, hundreds of wonderful people now isolated in homes or lost to us because of COVID-19. Broken bread, broken connections, broken traditions, broken bodies, broken lives.
"This is the bread of new life," Jesus says as he breaks it. From brokenness, new life can come.
I need that promise to be true because the world feels desperately broken right now. I am feeling broken-hearted by not being together. I am broken-hearted by the people dying too early from this virus. I am broken-hearted by the ways vulnerable people are made even more vulnerable when our systems fail. I am broken-hearted by every bit of our current crisis. I know we all are.
So, here is my prayer: I pray that the brokenness of our collective heart allows for a breaking open of a new Spirit among us. I pray that our brokenness breaks open a new world that is more just and generous. I pray that our brokenness might actually be the opening through which we find our global healing. It might be so, because remember, Jesus went on to say, "This is the cup of the new covenant made with you and many."
Brokenness and new promises. Death and resurrection. Life, death and life again. Do you hear it?
Rev. Cameron Trimble
Author of Piloting Church: Helping Your Congregation Take Flight
This blogpost first appeared on Cameron Trimble’s daily meditations, Piloting Faith. Sign up for the daily devotional from the Center for Progressive Renewal here.