While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. I assure you that I won’t drink wine again until that day when I drink it in a new way in God’s kingdom.”
After singing songs of praise, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mark 14:22-26, Common English Bible (c) 2011
What intimacy! Jesus has just told the disciples one of the Twelve will betray him. Now this … taking, blessing, breaking, and giving bread … feeding body and soul … sharing the one cup.
What strange words! “My blood … poured out.” Jesus has no doubt about how things will end. He has associated with, stood up for and spoken out on behalf of nobodies – the sick, the lame, the deaf, the mute, the blind – and outsiders – women, Samaritans, tax collectors. He is aware he has angered religious and political leaders. He knows what happens to people like him, to those who stir up trouble.
And then …. songs of praise? They sing. Music, drawing the community close. Lyrics, spelling out what is most important. Melody, harmony, rhythm, descant – embodying complex emotion and scattered thought.
-Teressa Clark, 2019
Lenten Reflections 2019: Following Jesus from the Mount of Olives to the Tomb ~ Day 27