Day 38

Thursday, April1
Mark 14:12-72

I distinctly remember the last carefree meal I had before the heaviness of COVID hit. After an incredible week in Mozambique, our team from The Gathering took a day to process our experiences on the Island of Mozambique. Though we had seen the headlines declaring a global pandemic, the gravity of the situation and its life-changing implications hadn’t yet settled in. To mark our last night in Mozambique, we enjoyed a meal and a magnificent sunset at a seafood restaurant overlooking the sea. We broke bread together, taking time to recount our most treasured memories of that hallowed week in Mozambique. We embraced for group photos, socialized without the constraint of masks, and even ordered dessert. As we walked the narrow cobblestone path back to our hotel, we had no idea that meal would mark the last few moments of normalcy we would enjoy before our world was upended.

I often wonder how Maundy Thursday may have felt for the disciples. Mark 14 begins with a description of a seemingly ordinary meal shared between 13 friends. The wine seems to indicate a sense of levity around the table. Though Jesus alludes to his untimely death during the meal, the solemn nature of this occasion goes by unrecognized by the disciples as they fall asleep in the garden of Gethsemane. Just like our group soaking up last moments in Mozambique, the disciples had no idea what was to come.

The term Maundy Thursday comes from the Latin word for “command” and references Jesus’ commandment that the disciples “love one another as I have loved you.” If the past year has taught us anything, its that we are not in control. All we can do is heed the words of the Christ and continue to love.

Reflection by Judith Rowland
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