Scripture: Luke 22:7-23
Given on March 28, 2013 at United Presbyterian Church of Amsterdam, NY
I wonder what it is like to sit at a table with your closest friends, those people with whom you have laughed and cried, struggled and succeeded, taught and learned. Those people who for three years have been closer to you than your own family. Those people who got you more than anyone else possibly could. I wonder what it is like to sit with your friends knowing that this would be the last meal that you would share with them. I wonder if you hang on every word, every laugh, every twitch. I wonder if you tell them things that you had always wanted to but never figured out how. I wonder if time slow down to where you can feel each drop of sand as it falls through the hourglass. Or I wonder if time speeds up as you cling to each moment of normalcy that is left before you know that things are about to spin out of control. I wonder if in your mind you drift back to the beginning, to your childhood, your time growing up with your mother and father. To your younger years, studying at the feet of your father to be a carpenter and inherit the family business, the beginning of your ministry when the clouds opened up and the spirit came down on your like a dove and the parent you had always secretly suspected that you had said those words, “this is my child, my beloved. Listen to him.” I wonder if you want to go back to those times because they seem like such a walk in the park compared to the present and future. I wonder if you begin to notice every sensation as it crosses over your body. Each twitch of a muscle, each blink, each itch. Never before had they all seemed so real, so present, so immediate. I wonder if the Seder before you took on new significance as well. If each bitter was that much more bitter, each cup of wine that much more divine, each morsel of bread slowly breaking down in your mouth as if you were taking and eating of your own self. I wonder what you thought after the meal when little pieces of you, soaked in your blood gathered on the table and the floor. I wonder if the creeping doubts that we all have began to slowly creep into the forefront of your mind telling you that you could still escape if you wanted, you could still have a normal life, wife, kids, you could leave all this behind. And I wonder at what point you decided to slam the door on those thoughts forever shutting them out and sealing your fate in your own mind. Sure there would be time later in the garden to ponder out loud if you might not have to drink this poisoned cup but you knew by then what the answer would be and that you had already decided to stand your ground. I wonder what you thought when you dipped your hand in the bowl with the one who would later betray you. Did a chill run up your spine when he left the room as you knew that the events that would lead to the end were now beginning. I wonder if when you looked at each of your friends gathered around the table who still didn’t understand the immediacy of the moment, I wonder if you didn’t have to brush back a secret tear for the loss of intimacy for the sake of the world. I wonder if when you prepared to take your leave and return to the garden that had become such an integral part of your life and your faith, I wonder if you lingered just a moment, to say one last word, to take one last look, One. Last Breath. I wonder. Amen.