Another Maundy Thursday--soon the sun will be up and the pace of the day will zoom. My spouse will go to the noon service, and we will both go back for the evening service. While he's at the noon service, I'll be having a lunch meeting with the library committee. We'll eat in the library, which might feel transgressive. Food and drink and all those books! In the past, it would have been quite the no-no.
In some ways, it reminds me of a Maundy Thursday in a church I attended years ago. In the 1970's, many youth groups did a Seder meal for Maundy Thursday, and our Lutheran Student Movement did a Seder one year, when I suggested it and put it together. I wanted to do something similar for the church.
We couldn't do it in the evening because I had to teach. The impediment to doing a Seder during the daytime was that the preschool used every bit of space in the building except for the sanctuary. I came up with a way we could have a meal in the back of the sanctuary.
As I researched the Seder, it became apparent that I had volunteered for more than I could accomplish. So, I switched to a simpler meal. I made a big pot of lentils and bought pita bread. I bought feta cheese and olives.
We sat and ate and talked about how the simple meal was similar to the food that Jesus would have eaten regularly. We talked about the Seder meal. We talked about Maundy Thursday, since the people who came to the meal were like me, unable to get back for an evening service.
Did we also have a service? I honestly cannot remember. What I remember is the joy of sharing a meal, and everyone's surprise at how good lentils tasted. I remember being pleased that my experiment worked. We had just enough room for everyone who came. If the whole church had attended--well, what a great problem that would have been, not having enough room.
But we had a small, select group, which I was fairly sure would happen, when I made the plans. It was neat to sit in the sanctuary and enjoy a real meal, not the scrap of bread and sip of wine that we usually got.
It was very cool to do Word and Sacrament in a completely different way--and wonderful that it seemed to work for people.
feeling the feelings…
9 months ago