Pathways through Lent

Your Last Meal

Maundy Thursday

Jeremiah 20:7-11  Psalms 102, 142, 143 1 Cor 10:14-17; 11:27-32   John 13:1-17, 31b-35

The memory of a business dinner I attended many years ago remains uniquely thought-provoking. That evening, one person in our group at the restaurant was unusually indecisive, asking the server to describe each dish in great detail, inquiring about countless substitutions, and pausing for what seemed an interminable period of time as she contemplated her order.

I could sense the impatience and growing frustration of the others at the table. They wanted to get on with the dinner, wrap up the evening, and get home at the end of a long day. Our indecisive colleague continued to keep the rest of us⎯and our busy server⎯waiting, oblivious to the tension that was building. Finally, one of my exasperated colleagues exclaimed, “Oh, for Heaven’s sake, just order something! You’re acting as if this is your final meal!” Our colleague good-naturedly laughed at herself, apologized, and hastily placed her order.

Since that night, I’ve sometimes wondered: Do I fully embrace each day as if I am living my final hours and having my last meal? After all, any meal could be my last.

On Maundy Thursday, we observe the evening when Jesus had both the benefit and burden of knowing that He was having His last meal on Earth and that His mortal life would soon end. Unlike Christ, we do not have the benefit of knowing when our mortal lives will end. His Resurrection, however, secured for us the gift of everlasting life⎯and it is a gift that stills the disquiet of not knowing when that moment will arrive.

Byzantine Mosaic of Jesus washing the disciples feet at the Last Supper. (Image from Wikiimedia Commons)
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1 thought on “Your Last Meal”

  1. Just wanted to thank Alma for her post on Wednesday…Loved the story with Clarke and seems especially poignat and soothing as I remember my mother in law this Easter celebration. Thank you!

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