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?


For sure

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

whose population

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!


But wait,

Its too crowded-

Oh no!


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,

Even animals.


The Right wing Pharisee and the “Occupy Israel” Zealot….

Even Judas Iscariot

Who would betray Jesus later that evening with a kiss.


So what?

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.


Just this

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.