Homily: Maundy Thursday, April 2, 2015
MAUNDY THURSDAY, YEAR B; Rev. Phil Boelter
Here's the traditional version of the last supper
from Leonardo da Vinci.
It’s a plaster casting- given to me by my step mom years ago.
According to tradition
The disciples and Jesus gather
during a crowded Passover festival
In an upper room.
Jesus takes the bread and the cup of the Passover feast
And he circles these beautiful symbols back on himself-
He adds some new words
This is my body
This is my blood.
Our DaVinci’s Last Supper
has just the twelve apostles with Jesus at the center.
So far so good.
No offense Leonardo,
But I want to challenge this traditional picture a bit.
Guess who was there at the Last supper?
It is at least likely and probably a sure bet
That there were other folk present
For that Passover meal-
Other than the 13 men portrayed here.
Who else might've been there?
Not to be sexist-
the women and servants and others
Who prepared the place were already present-
Preparing the lamb and spices and herbs
Beore the men olk apostles and their leader showed up.
Also the disciples' families,
Neighbors, friends were likely there,
Crowded into a small room
In a town like Jerusalem
Swelled from a few thousands to several hundred thousand
For a few days each April for Passover.
That upper room
was likely a lot more like a big noisy Italian family celebration
than the a quiet symbolic ceremony like
We’re having tonight.
Everyone was almost required to be present-
Even and especially
If you take the Hebrew scripture’s commandment seriously-
The stranger and sojourner among us.
Here come my friends gumby and pokey-
They’re invited too!
Its too crowded-
No room for them.
How like many faith communities!
At some communion Tables
Its just us folks-
The people who believe the same as we do
live the right way
Who look like us.
Not on your life.
Everyone was invited
to that sacred Passover meal with Jesus
in the Upper Room.
Family friends, strangers, sojourners,
The Right wing Pharisee and the “Occupy Israel” Zealot….
Even Judas Iscariot
Who would betray Jesus later that evening with a kiss.
We have TWO choices to make tonight.
Are you going to come to the Table?
I say- Come on!
It would be just as strange for you not to come
As it would be for someone to invite you over for dinner-
Then when it comes time to sit down at the table
Say to you
“ya’ll stay here in the den
and watch TV for a while-
the rest of us are going the dining room to eat.”
So that’s one choice-
The second is like unto it.
Every time we gather for this Meal
We are challenged to decide also to make room
At the table of our own lives for all people,
and most especially for those with whom we might be uncomfortable.
Those who might not be the in crowd
Strangers Who look
act or smell
talk or believe
differently than we do.
Why is that the case?
Whoops!!!!!! Time’s up!
You’re going to have to come back tomorrow night
To find out the answer as we continue our journey together through these Three holy nights.
For tonight simply ponder
Do I come to the table?
Who comes to the table of my life? Amen.