Reflections_Week5

Reflection based on “Entering the Passion of Jesus”

Week 5 – The Last Supper: Risking the Loss of Friends

Liturgy and Design © 2019 worshipdesignstudio.com, adapted by permission.

 

Entering The Story

We continue on our journey through Lent as we step inside the heartbreaking story of saying goodbye to friends. We put ourselves in the picture of Holy Week, so that we might take a closer look and let the ancient story open us to listen to one another and treasure each other—all equal and precious in the eyes of God.
 
 

Sing or Read        Enter, enter the story, 

the place we belong.

Not just looking on,

for this is our story.

Enter the story.

 

Scripture References:   Read John 13:1-16 and Luke 22:14-27

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.’”(NRSV)

 

Jesus’ words at the Last Supper were shocking to those in attendance. His words can seem familiar, even comforting to us because we hear these words every time we have communion. But at the moment of their utterance, they were anything but “usual.” This week, we enter the scene of that last supper long enough to get a grasp of the shock that would have rippled through Jesus’ friends. Partaking of body and blood? Not kosher! A “Lord” washing feet like a servant? Unbelievable! Breaking bread with the enemy? What?! But Jesus knew his time was up. And it was time for the disciples to get the message, even if it came in a shocking way: love one another as I have loved you—by serving, forgiving, freeing, communing—becoming one with—God.
 
 

Sing or Read – Enter, Come, enter the passion,

                                    the place we belong.

                                    Not just looking on,

                                    for this is our passion.

                                    Enter the passion.

 
 

A PRAYER for this week:

Sometimes we just aren’t

paying attention.                                             Assurance of Pardon and Entering the Peace of Christ:

We can keep our heads in the sand                              Know this:

when we really need to attend to                                       Our lives contain continual opportunities

difficult situations,                                                               to be in humble service to friends

or the needs of your people.                                              and strangers.                                           

Guard us from distancing ourselves,                                 You are forgiven and freed,

and help us to care for what’s right                                    encouraged and loved

in front of us.                                                                      by a God who wants you to live fully.

You entered our story through Jesus,

now help us to enter fully into
 
the story of your kin-dom
 
on earth as it is
 
in heaven.    Amen.
 
 
Follow the link for a good song to sing or listen toclick –>  Jesu, Jesu   from the United Methodist Hymnal #432
 

Listening for the Story:        Luke 4:16-21(NRSV)

In her book about the Passion, Amy-Jill Levine says this about Jesus’ act of washing the disciples feet: “To be a servant leader, to take on the role of a slave, also means to take on the role of freeing others—not only from sin but also from bondage.” Washing others’ feet may seem shocking to us, but more out of a disdain for feet rather than the real reason it was shocking to those first disciples.

Jesus’ stature as the Master Teacher and honored guest made him first in line to be served—certainly not to be the servant. But if the disciples had been paying attention, they would have heard Jesus’ own proclamation of his call—to free those held captive, especially the least among society. In taking the place of a slave, he shows forth the fulfillment of this role, one that will be further fulfilled in dying as a common criminal.

We remember Jesus’ words from an earlier time:

“When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind,

to let the oppressed go free,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

 

Follow the link to a good song to sing or listen to click –> Nobody by Casting Crowns  LYRICS

 

Dwelling in the Story: (Dramatic retelling of the Scripture)

My master’s banquet hall upstairs was booked for this night, and the time had arrived for this evening’s group to come for the banquet. All was prepared according to their wishes, and I was ready with the water and basin as I always am. Years ago, my parents had given me to the owner as collateral for the debt they owed him. But things did not go well for them, and the debt had never been paid. And so I work to pay it off. Roman law says that some day I could be a freed person, but I will never again have the full rights in society like those who have never been slaves. It is a mark for life. I keep my head down and do what the master asks because legally he has the right to punish, abuse, and humiliate me. I’ve witnessed it happen to others. Right now, I have no rights.

So there I was with the bowl, just waiting for the go-ahead to start. It would be the honored guest first, of course, and I knew which one that was by where he was seated. This was all protocol, everyone has a place according to status. When he showed up, I recognized him and remembered the stories I had been hearing about this teacher. He was saying things that were really upsetting those invested in this system of status… saying things like “the last shall be first.” My friend who serves in the kitchen had to tell me to stop staring. I just couldn’t imagine a world like he described.

And then he came right up to me and took the basin of water from my hands. He took my servant’s towel and wrapped it around his own waist and knelt, telling Peter to come sit down. This was going to be no ordinary night. And I realized my life, my view of myself and my station in life, was never going to be the same.
 
 

      Sing or Read –  Enter, Enter the story, the place we belong.

                                          Not just looking on, for this is our story.

                                          Enter the story.

                                          Enter, Come, enter the passion, the place we belong.

                                          Not just looking on, for this is our passion.

                                                                                              Enter the passion.

                                                                                              Enter, enter the story.
                                                                         Enter His passion..
 
 

Zooming In:

Sing or read these words –  Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus  from the United Methodist Hymnal #349

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Look full on his wonderful face.

And the things of earth will go strangely dim.

In the light of his wonder and grace.

 

Pray Aloud: 

We remember today all those whose lives were turned   inside-out by their encounter with Jesus, especially those at the Last Supper. We remember today those people who give their time and effort to give clean shelter, food, and clothing to those whose well being has been compromised by homelessness and tragedy, especially those with Covid-19.

We remember today those people fight for and release those who are captives and those who work to end human trafficking.

And now let us call to our “mind’s eye”—perhaps with eyes closed if you are comfortable doing that—those people in our lives that need our advocacy, presence and prayers. I invite you to lift aloud names or places that you would add to our prayers today.
 
And now we pray The Lord’s Prayer. Amen.
 
 
Sing or read these words –  Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus  from the United Methodist Hymnal #349

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Look full on his wonderful face.

And the things of earth will go strangely dim.

In the light of his wonder and grace.

 

Follow the link for a good song to sing or listen toclick –> Lord, Through Whose Humble Service
 from the United Methodist Hymnal #432
 

Entering the World’s Story:

We are experiencing a time that isn’t ordinary! The shock to us over the last few weeks has been sudden, unexpected and enormous. Many are realizing like the characters in this weeks story that many lives may never be the same after this pandemic. As I consider the disciples needing to “get the message”, I wonder if we could consider our experience in the light of loving one another. In following guidelines to minimize the spreading of the Covid-19 virus we are paying more attention to things like hand washing, sanitizing, covering coughs and sneezes. However we are also physically separated from friends, families, co-workers, and our faith communities. Staying at home may have it’s inconvenience and frustrations and we be risking the temptations to feeling isolated or like captives.

May we remember our story this week considering our lives as servant leaders with these questions. Are we able to hear Bishop Sally Dick’s message encouraging us to hear the phrase, “Shelter in Place” and look to the One who is our shelter and give thanks? Can we look at the things we are doing currently to minimize the spread of Covid-19 as our call to love and serve one another? As a result of entering the passion of Jesus this season of Lent, will we, like the servant, be able to realize that our lives and our views of our lives will never be the same?
 
Follow the link for a good song to sing or listen toclick –>  Do They See Jesus in Me? 
                          performed by Pete Carlson and Amy Roth (originally recording Joy Williams)

 

With the Love of Christ, Connie Schweitzer