'Tis Midnight

March 29, 2013

Maundy Thursday 2013 is finished. The table was filled with simple food. Rice, beans, skewered meat. Wine and a quick remembrance of the supper Jesus was having with his friends around another table long ago. They argued about greatness… so what is new? Human nature is human nature and so on and so on. Oh, and yes, before dawn, some one of us (or actually many of us) will deny you, Jesus. Then Jesus withdrew from them and went to pray. At the rail on the deck of the porch, with the almost full moon shining on the river, it was the Mount of Olives. The others could not stay awake, still the prayer rose in the dark night. The water was still and dark. Only the moonlight and the lights of houses across the river twinkled with life. Quiet is something most rare in the place where I live my life. Quiet and stillness mark tonight as Jesus prays. Lord, things have not changed much in 2,000 years. Betrayal still happens in even the best of circles. People sell each other out to gain an edge in the market place. A bag of coins is still enough to make us forget that power belongs only to You. We are pipe dreaming when we think we can possess it. My prayers fall, house by house in this place. I pray for those who have lost a daughter just this week. She died too young with lots of unfinished life to give. I pray for the one who is slipping into an illness yet undiagnosed, who will likely face difficulty in the coming years. Give him strength. I pray for a new baby just born, a grandchild of the river who will grow here loving the water and happy time. I pray for each household under the moonlight this Maundy Thursday. We are the same in our human condition, good and bad. Your love, O Christ, is so amazing. That you would go through what you will go through the next 24 hours for us is a miracle. Such love is beyond anything I can even imagine this night as I stand at my altar on the deck. Let me bear a little of your pain in thanksgiving. Let me never forget your word of grace and forgiveness. Bless all who have entered your passion. Bless us with a knowledge that you lead us through this night into what someone mysteriously calls “Good Friday” even when it seems anything but, to a most incredible place in three days. Thank you for the nearly full moon that illumines the dark tonight. There is hope shimmering on the river that is from You. I give thanks. Amen.  

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