Calm In the Storm
Thank God today for the gift of the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist, and all that it means to you.
Read Mark 14:12-26
 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”  So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him.  Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’  He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”  The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.  When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.  While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me-one who is eating with me.”  They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”  “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me.  The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”  While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”  Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.  “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.  “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”  When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat possibly familiar words do you read here?
I wonder how much the disciples were aware of the dark forces at play around Jesus’ last hours. The directions Jesus gave his disciples for the preparation of the Passover meal seemed to be routine: where to go, who to see and what to say. It all went smoothly (13-16). Then, at the meal table Jesus dropped a bombshell. There was a betrayer in their midst (17,18). Notice the emotion: sadness (19), not anger, nor real surprise. Their protestations (19) almost imply that they all thought themselves capable of it, but hoped when the moment came that they would stand firm. They were troubled, but Jesus remained calm. After all, he was about to fulfill his purpose in coming, so graphically and deliberately symbolized in breaking bread and sharing wine (22-25). It all had a sound of finality about it, but if they didn’t know what was going on, Jesus certainly did. The final act was near. The cross beckoned, and with it the healing of the world. Time to go (26)! The calmness of Jesus in this story always gives me confidence in dark times. There is a strength here that helps me know that God is in control.
What challenges do you face that demand a sense of calm assurance? Try to recall this story in those moments.
Lord Jesus, how grateful I am that even in this dark moment, You were calm and went about Your saving work!
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