Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Environmental Stewardship Commission (MEESC) Lectionary Reflection All Years, Maundy Thursday, Gospel

Luke 22:14-30

When the hour came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, "I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!" Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be who would do this.

A dispute also arose among them as to which one of them was to be regarded as the greatest. But he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

"You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Reflection on Luke 22:14-30 by John Gibbs, PhD

"I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." The Savior's sacrifice is made in conscious reference to the Exodus out of Egypt. Just as the word "exodus" literally means "a way out," so "this Passover" is a way out of the suffering and bondage to decay that afflict humanity and our fellow creatures.

Our faith always, but especially during Holy Week, is this-worldly. Faith's focus is on: table, eating together, cup, bread, wine, blood, all in the service of "the new covenant" and the One who is "among you as one who serves."

God chose for whatever reasons to initiate new beginnings not beyond space/time, but only within that continuum. Faith cannot be experienced elsewhere than here and now where God in God's grace has placed us. Our faith is not a "way out" from earth and sky and water and all the elements of creation. It is a way out of our own faithlessness within space/time, a "way out" that transforms the ways that we relate to our places and our times, for it transforms both us and all our doings.

To Reflections on the other readings for Maundy Thursday:
Old Testament Exodus 12:1-14a
Psalm Psalm 78:14-20,23-25
New Testament 1 Corinthians 11:23-26(27-32)
Gospel John 13:1-15 or Luke 22:14-30
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John Gibbs, a retired theologian, attends Trinity Episcopal Church, Park Rapids, MN. He originally wrote this reflection in 2001. John and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to John Gibbs or any MEESC member, or mail them to:
MEESC Holy Trinity Church Box 65 Elk River, MN 55330-0065 USA

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