The Last Supper: Holy Self-Giving
IN THE PASSOVER MEAL we have come to call the Last Supper, Jesus chooses to share himself – his very body and blood – with his dearest friends. Christ gives not only bread and wine to his disciples present in that moment, but he also gives them a ritual of remembrance. The thought of leaving his friends, men to whom he felt close and with whom he had formed a community, must have grieved him. It makes sense that he wanted to give them a way to remember him so they would not feel so alone without him.
His intimate, self-giving gesture meant they had something to hold on to, something they could touch and taste, something to keep Christ close. In the Last Supper, Jesus gives the gift of himself not only in that moment but for all generations to come, promising his intimate presence to all who reenact this supper.
We can mimic Christ’s gift by giving of ourselves. The farther we progress in spiritual growth and awareness, the more we become able and willing to give. The Last Supper teaches us the sacredness of our own increasing capacity to give.
– Sarah Parsons
A Clearing Season
From pages 80-81 of A Clearing Season: Reflections for Lent by Sarah Parsons. Copyright © 2005 by Sarah Parsons. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What does the Last Supper teach you? Share your thoughts.
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26, NRSV
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This week we remember: Clara Barton (April 12).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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