Posts Tagged ‘communion’

It’s after the resurrection. Mary, Jesus’ mother, is sitting with Jesus at her cousin Mary’s house in Jerusalem. The upper room is upstairs — just as you’d expect. They are sitting on the front porch. Rhoda, Mary’s servant girl, is peeling potatoes. Jesus is whittling and Mary is mending socks.

Mary: Jude goes through socks like demons through a rock band.

Jesus: Yeah, but he’s getting better about changing them after football practice.

They sit silently for a minute. The sun is setting. Rhoda rises with a pan of potatoes and goes inside.

Mary (stops darning): I miss my parents sometimes.

Jesus: I know. They’re okay and pleased with you right now.

Mary: What?

Jesus: They are enjoying your mending Jude’s socks. They love you both.

Mary: They’re watching? We’re not alone?

Jesus: No. We’re never alone. If folks only knew. There’s a huge cloud of witnesses. What do you think happens when people die?

Mary: I don’t know. I mean, I know you’re here — you’ve risen. And I remember Peter and John talking about seeing you talking with Moses and Elijah before you left. Lazaras is back, which reminds me of the story you told about another Lazarus dipping his finger in the water.

Jesus (nodding): Yeah.

Mary: And I’ve seen angels. King Saul supposedly talked with Samuel’s ghost. So, I guess death is not the end. So, you’re saying my folks are watching us now?

Jesus: Yes. Sometimes they’re doing other stuff, but now they’re watching us.

Mary: Are they happy?

Jesus: Yes, they are. You can talk with them and they can hear. You see, reality is much greater and wider than you can see. There’s more behind the curtain, so to speak. Every now and then, people catch glimpses of the other side, like when I pulled the curtain aside so Peter, James and John could see Moses and Elijah. There are glimpses of glory all around, but humans miss it most of the time. There’s more than you can see.

Mary: Will I be able to watch Jude and the rest of the kids after I die?

Jesus (smiling): Yes. You’ll be amazed. I’ll let you in on a secret — well, it’s not a secret, it’s a truth most people don’t care about. Love never dies. We, all of us, are never separated — by death or anything else. Most of the guys are going to die violently for me. John’ll take you to Ephesus and he’ll be the only one to die of natural causes. But, whether alive or dead, here or there, we’re together and we’re supporting one another.

Mary: Is that why sometimes when I talk to my parents, it seems like they’re present and listening?

Jesus: Yes. Through me, we are all united in love.

Mary: Can they influence what happens here?

Jesus: No. Only to the degree they work through me. In the future, it’ll get confusing for the church. Future generations will know they can commune with us, even when we’re not present. Some will go to one extreme — praying to you and the saints, and others will assume you and the saints don’t exist at all.

Mary (frowning): Oh, that’s sad. They’ll forget about their spiritual ancestors?

Jesus: More or less. They’ll commune with me, but they’ll miss the blessing of communion with the saints.

Mary (placing her hand on Jesus’ knee): You and me. We’ll never be apart, will we?

Jesus (taking Mary’s hand): You and me. Never. Our family of faith? We’re locked in and never alone. When these guys die, they’ll not die alone. We’ll all be there. And in some cases the curtain will be pulled aside and they’ll see the angels and all of us waiting.

They sit quietly for a minute.

Mary (reflectively): Mom? Dad? Glad you are here. Love you.

Tr8: Commune with the saints. We are not alone and we are part of a much greater kingdom.

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I imagine Simon Peter talking with Jesus on the way to Gethsemane.

Simon Peter: Pretty good dinner, huh? Thanks for the foot wash — bold message — as usual. But, just to clarify things a bit, I don’t understand what you said back there. Blood and body stuff? What’s up with that?

Jesus: It’ll be a powerful reminder of my sacrifice, our relationship, and your ministry. Tomorrow you’ll see what it costs for me to make you a brother in my Father’s eyes. The blood part reminds you we are family — the Father will put HIS blood in your veins.  The broken body thing you’ll understand better, too. After I’m gone, you are my body — remember that — there’ll be a guy named Paul, tell him to describe the body thing in chapter 12 in his first Corinthian letter.

Simon Peter: So, when you’re gone, the wine and bread are to remind us of our relationship and job? Where are you going?

Jesus: Hello? Peter, are you listening? The temple people are going to kill me TOMORROW. I’ll explain it again to you — personally — in Galilee in two weeks. I’ll be the one cooking breakfast on the beach.

Simon Peter: Hmmm. You’re going to die tomorrow then cook breakfast on the beach in Galilee? …Lord, I’ll never let you cook breakfast for me! I’ll cook it for…

Jesus: Peter. Chill. It’s just breakfast. It’ll make sense later. Trust me. Tonight and this weekend you are going to learn some hard lessons. By the way, that sword makes you look really stupid. Simon the Centurion!

Simon Peter: Ouch! That hurt. So, you think you can just walk around without bodyguards? You think James, John, Andrew and I aren’t taking this death threat thing seriously? We’ve made a pact to protect you. We’re like your special forces, counter intelligence…tacit consent to bust some heads, sir!

Jesus: Seriously? You’re to imitate me, not protect me. Ah, Rock, I love you, dude. You stumble around with great faith, but when you think too much you screw up. You haven’t quite understood me and you don’t understand yourself. This weekend will clear it all up.

Simon Peter: Great. Sounds like an amazing weekend ahead. Hey, look…that’s Judas…with…soldiers! This is it…TO ARMS! TO ARMS! THUNDER BROTHERS! ANDREW!

[draws sword]

Ha! Take that!

Jesus (to himself): Here we go. You’ll be Simon this weekend, but next week you’ll be Peter. This is my blood, shed for you. This is my body, broken for you.

Tr8: Conteml8ive. Never stop remembering. Throughout the day, as often as we eat, we pause and remember  who we are and what we are to do.

Bonus tr8: Think, but don’t think too much, be moved by the Spirit.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35