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3.20.2008

Maundy Thursday: Holy Week

This is when we learn that Jesus wants to give to his people.

Already, he has told his disciples: Unless you eat of my body and drink of my blood, you have no part with me.
This is a hard thing. This means following him through Jerusalem and watching him hang in my place for hours, panting and bleeding and sweating, barely breathing, sometimes crying out. This also means all that goes before: the strangeness of being a follower of the man who leads harlots and thieves. the awkwardness of explaining this to your mother. the arguments that erupt in the marketplace after the fishmonger's query, 'so what do you do for a living?' camping across Galilee. praying when you'd rather be sleeping. feeling guilty for sleeping instead of praying. dodging the cops. the scorn in the temple from the priest who first heard your confessions as a young boy - yes, scorn from the fathers!

It seems like a lot of confusion and sacrifice, though we know it is worth it. After all, to whom shall we go? Lord, you have the words of eternal life, and we have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.

Sitting here on my couch next to my cat, sipping warm milk with apple honey, listening to the careful strumming of Michael Pritzl through the speakers, I know I must soon walk in the dust behind the beaten man, too broken to bear his own cross - out of the city, up the hill of dead bodies and rubbish - and I must stand and watch him die. I am afraid.


He wants me to know something first. Before it all happens. Before the sky turns dark and the temple is torn. Even before the dusty walk. Before he is abandoned to prison, before the familiar night walk through the olive trees. He wants me to know this:
He wants to give to me.

again,
he wants to give.
and he will give.

and give
and give

and give

and give

and give

and give

and give

and give

and give

and give

even if it means crawling on the floor, face to face with my feet. even if it means the blood and sweat and out-of-socket shoulders and ripped skin and so many things i cannot name and daren't imagine.

even if i am starving and the only thing to eat is his body.

even if i am dying and his blood is the only cure.

even if i am possessed of demons and the only way to free me is to give me his Spirit instead.

he wants to give to me. and i want to take.

and take.
and take.
and take
and take

and take
and take and take and take

with joy. and weeping.

The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.'

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. . . . 'If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.'

The Spirit and the Bride say, 'Come.' And let the one who hears say, 'Come.' And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Clear away the rubble. Make space. Make time. Make silence. So that he can give and give and give.
Clear the way without fear, with sorrow and eagerness.
Come to the foot of the cross boldly and with weeping.
Take take take - for he has already given it all.

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