While in God's Grip!
When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table. For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!”
Then they began to ask one another which one of them it could be who would do this.
~ Luke 22:14 - 23
One thing about being at camp with a group of twelve to fourteen year old youth is that they can relate to you joy and sorrow within the same sentence. There is something about laughing through tears, and crying while smiling.
While Jesus is excited to be gathering to eat with the Disciples in the text from Luke, there is an underlying presence of pain and sorrow.
We may not have experienced real betrayal like Christ, for many of us we know what it means to sometimes lose hope, end relationships, and experience loss.
I love stories and movies that bring us to polarized emotions within moments. The hero finds her love, only to discover she is dying. The person who has traveled around the world to meet someone, discovers that they just left a week ago. Jesus' moments of healing and teaching are going well, and the crowds continue to grow, only to realize that someone has betrayed the group and there is so much about to change.
This week our youth are reflecting their own life stories. While they can look in the mirror and see changes daily, it is looking within that sometimes is harder.
For any of us, each day is an opportunity to begin anew. It's an opportunity to look at where we are, and take the first step to being who God wants us to be. Through both joy and sorrow, our lives are important, and our ability to experience all of these things makes life worth living.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear God, while I know that there will be easy and difficult days in my life, I really hope that I will be with through all. Thank You for each moment. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.