Originally uploaded by auntjojo
Yesterday the table. Today the cup.
The cup represents so many different things. "Take this cup from me," Jesus says. Even Jesus feeling a need for his suffering to be relieved. And even Jesus hearing a "No. There is another way" answer to his prayer. How does the saying go? God always answers prayers, just not the way we like. I have always hated that saying, but today I am reminded that Jesus understands. He felt the same way in Gethsemane.
The cup of the new covenant. "A new command I give you," says Jesus, "to love one another." It doesn't seem like such a new commandment to me. The command to love seems to have been there all along. What does it mean that the covenant was new? Was it new and improved? Or brand new out of nothing? It seems to be that the concept of a new covenant was for our benefit. It wasn't really new to God. Yet God saw how entangled our understanding of the Old Covenant had become with our sinfulness and the sinful structures of our world. And God decided to untangle it. A new covenant. Sometimes I wish God would untangle us again.
A shared cup. Jesus passes the cup to his disciples, despite their coming betrayal. A cup of grace and mercy. If only our communion cups were full of the same grace. We know just as well as Jesus that people are flawed, that we sin and hurt one another. Can we extend the same grace?