On Holy Thursday, when Jesus gathered with his disciples for the last supper, he gave them bread and wine, and spoke words that Christians still say in worship, across these many centuries:
“Take and eat, take and drink, this is my body, my blood, broken and shed for you.”
The meal we commemorate as Holy Communion took place in the upper room of a house that did not belong to Jesus, or any of the 12. They were all guests that night, in the home of a generous neighbor.
The disciples certainly didn’t know the owner of the house, at all. Jesus had sent Peter and John to look for a man carrying a jug of water, and told them to follow him to whatever house he went to. They had no idea who the owner of the home was, and neither do we. The owner’s story, the lifelong journey that led to him hosting that evening, is completely hidden from us. Had this person ever even met Jesus?
The bible doesn’t say that he knew the Lord, only that he was expecting them all to visit that day. The room was set up and ready for the
group to arrive. They had everything they needed, and because this person made a place for them, we have the story of the last supper.
Our faith is anchored in stories. Some are our own experiences of want and plenty, and the times our personal heroes showed what courage and fidelity really mean. Others are stories from tradition and scripture, received across generations as legends of trial and triumph. We return to these stories throughout our lifetimes, seeking exemplars of sacrifice and wisdom, who practice goodness when goodness is greatly needed.
All these stories take place on a stage set by hands we don’t see. Uncommemorated people and events enable the things we do see and remember to happen at all.
This is a humbling and encouraging thought. It invites us into wonder and gratitude at the unseen saintly mesh that provided this present moment, in which we might serve and love and forgive and be saved.
And it reminds us that we need neither credit nor acclaim to share what we have, and set the table for grace.
God bless you friends!
Pastor Rob Leveridge
The Table meets for worship at 11am every Sunday at The Church House, 1435 W. 14th St. in Davenport.
Easter Sunday 2023, worship will be outdoors at Emeis Park in Davenport, April 9, 11am.