Friday, April 10, 2009

Last supper

[ALERT: This post will make overt references to religious/spiritual subject matter. If that is of no interest or will offend you, hit the Back button on your browser while you still can. If I haven't scared you off yet, let me offer a few words of reassurance: Don't worry - I'm not going to go all born-again Bob Dylan on you.]

Well, aside from having a runny nose for the past few days, the week has gone - if not according to plan - at least, pretty much as expected. I went straight from work to the Maundy Thursday communion service tonight. It's a more intimate worship service than most. We sit at tables, sing bits of hymns a capella, and have a meal commemorating the Last Supper - not just bread (or wafers) and grape juice, like usual. There are raw vegetables (celery, carrots, sliced radish), fruit (grapes, dates, a strawberry), some parsley, a wheat cracker or bit of pita bread - foods to offer a range of tastes and textures: from sweet to bitter, soft to crunchy. The idea is to eat everything on your plate (I always do) - and I had a lot of parsley this year.

In an earlier post, I pled guilty to not only participating in - but being enriched by - the competitive speech program at my high school. That, combined with my being an active member of my church since a young age (my mom was an inspiration in this area), gave me a unique appreciation for scripture as literature. I often considered fashioning a dramatic reading or a poetry script from the Bible. Reading scripture aloud is a great pleasure for me; and when I read it, I try tell it as a story, to adopt the persona of the characters in the narrative or the persons speaking. People have often told me that hearing the stories and the words of the Bible presented in that way help them to hear and (perhaps) understand it in a new way.

Anyway, I hope you will forgive me if I read a few lines from the United Methodist liturgy that are running through my mind tonight.

On the night in which he gave himself up for us
he took bread, gave thanks,
broke the bread
gave it to his disciples and said:
"Take, eat; this is
my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."

When the supper was over, he took the cup,
gave thanks, gave it to his disciples
and said:
"Drink from this, all of you;
this is my blood of the new
poured out for you and for many
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this, as often as you drink it,
in remembrance of me."

Thank you for your kind indulgence. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and - for those of you so inclined - a Happy Easter.

Take care.


Middle Aged Woman said...

If priests could read like that, I might have remained aware during more masses.

Jim Styro said...

Sure - but those guys probably don't curse loudly on Good Friday when an Internet snafu leaves them with Jackson Browne tickets in Row W instead of Row K! They're able to keep that stuff in perspective...
I'm going to my happy place now.

Pamela said...

We attend a UM church, and our pastor does a teaching Seder each year. It's absolutely fascinating, and the food is pretty good, too.

Jim Styro said...

Pamela: That's cool. I'm a United Methodist myself - and it sounds similar to what we have been doing for many years now.