Greetings from Peter Mayer

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Table Talk - Maundy Thursday

“And you’re Still in One Peace
Still in One Peace
We are blessed we are broken
Given one more chance to be
Found in you we are

In One Peace”
Still in One Peace by Peter Mayer

I love these next three days. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil comprise one service over three nights. It’s as if each service ends with the “cliffhanger message” “TO BE CONTINUED”….

Today is Maundy Thursday. It’s name comes from the Latin word for “commandment” mandatum. On this day Jesus said, 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 

35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13)

I’m not so sure this is a “new” commandment. However, I am not really in a position to argue with Jesus on this day. But, love and loving one another as we have been loved are core principles of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Karen Armstrong in her book on Compassion also makes the case that Love is central to the teachings of all major religions. So, what exactly is Jesus saying to us with this new commandment?

Maybe it comes down to the fact that loving another or one another is new each and every time we do it. And as we gather around the table, whether that be at home, or in a restaurant or at church we hear the words, “do this in remembrance of me.”

Peter is so good at describing our saint/sinner dialectic by singing, “we are blessed, we are broken.” Within the same line he says it all. There are parts of me (and I’m sure of you) that are just wonderful, caring, full of love and kindness. And there are also part of me (and I’m sure of you) that are not wonderful, apathetic, spiteful and mean. We are not one or the other, but as Luther and (now Peter) so eloquently remind us, we are BOTH!

Maybe then, this new commandment is also like that in that it is an old permission- you know how one airlines says “you are now free to roam the country.” God has been granting us this freedom to love for as long as homo sapiens have been taking their breaths on the face of this earth.

We come to the table to eat and drink in remembrance. We come to “taste and see” that the Lord is good. We come just as we are without one plea- and that is enough.

Bon appetite!

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