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Lent for Everyone: Holy Week, Monday (120402)

Lent For Everyone Reading Plan

This is Monday of Holy Week. The reading is Matthew 26:14-35, which includes the Lord’s Supper. (If you want to listen, scroll to the bottom of that page for the audio links.)

Wright points out that the Lord’s Supper, which has been at the center of such controversies in the church through the centuries, was also at the center of much trouble and turmoil when it was first given. Wright says “Perhaps, whenever something truly and massively important is afoot, it becomes the place where attack is concentrated, where Jesus’ friends will be distracted by so many immediate muddles and concerns that they risk missing the glorious thing that stands quietly in the center, the gleaming diamond in the middle of the rubbish-heap.

And diamond it is — with many facets, reflecting light all around. This meal, this Passover-with-a-difference, was the way Jesus chose to explain to his followers what his death was all about. They hadn’t understood what he’d said to them up to this point, but this meal, and their repeating of it there- after, would soak it deep down into their imaginations. What you do, and particularly what you eat and drink, changes the way you think and feel. Jesus wanted them, and us, to know at a level much deeper than mere theory that his death was the true Passover, the time when God acted to rescue his people from slavery once and for all, and that we are not merely spectators but participants and beneficiaries.”

“We all need, constantly, to find our way back into the heart and meaning of this meal. As Jesus makes clear in verse 29, this meal is the prelude to the coming of the kingdom — which must mean that Jesus himself, and Matthew in shaping his gospel the way he has, saw his death, interpreted in this Passover-fashion, as the final act of kingdom-bringing.:

“Certainly that is the implication of 28.18. Jesus’ death is the final overthrow of the powers of darkness, which is why his resurrection then establishes him as the one who has all authority in heaven and on earth. However puzzled we may be (if all this is anywhere near the truth, we should hardly expect to understand such a huge and mysterious thing straight off), we are called to share the meal, to stay focused on Jesus as the rescuer, the kingdom-bringer, and so to encourage one another to be kingdom-people. To be Jesus-people.”

Lots of good communion music (all good heart prep for Thursday, by the way):

Behold the Lamb A communion song by Kieth & Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend

Peace by Rich Mullins

Remembrance by Matt Maher

Communion by Third Day

And of course How Beautiful by Twila Paris