It was a special occasion

It was a special occasion.
Well – eating with Jesus was always a special occasion.
Especially when it was just us twelve and him.
We could relax, ask questions, say what was on our minds.
We were a community.
We got on with each other – most of the time.
We relied on each other’s strengths and put up with each other’s weaknesses.
They were good times.

It was a special occasion.
It really was a special occasion – it was Passover,
The best mealtime of the whole year.
We were used now to celebrating it together rather than with our families.
This was our family.
We made sure we did the right things in the right way and said the right words.
But it wasn’t just a formality – this was part of our heritage and religion and it meant so much to us.
We were part of a very long tradition of being God’s chosen people.
but, somehow, celebrating Passover with Jesus, kept the tradition yet changed it,
in a way that we didn’t fully understand.
Actually, there was a lot we didn’t understand.

It was a special occasion.
It was the ultimate special occasion and we did not know it.
We knew that Jesus was more reflective than usual.
We could sense that he was investing more in the ceremony than he usually did.
Everything he said seemed to have undertones and overtones but we could not make sense of them.
When he broke the bread, we knew that this time was different.
He gave thanks, as he always did, and then he looked at us in a way that we hadn’t seen before.
“This is my body, given for you. Do this to remember me.”
We didn’t understand, or perhaps, we didn’t want to.
After the meal was over, he took the cup of blessing and said, “This is God’s new covenant, to be sealed with my blood. Whenever you drink this, do so in memory of me.”
How could we have known what that meant?
How could we forget him when he was so much part of our lives?

It was a special occasion.
Relaxed, reflective, meaningful and moving.
But, with what happened next, we forgot about it for a long time.
When we remembered, afterwards, we slowly began to appreciate and understand.
And we ate bread and drank wine to remember him.

Jacqui Horton 2006