Eating is one of my favorite parts about life. Even though I’m trying to be better with my diet, I still enjoy eating; I’m just trying to enjoy healthier options and smaller portions of said options.
Maundy Thursday is Holy Week’s celebration of food and fellowship. On the night before he was betrayed, Jesus sat down to one last meal with his disciples. On the final night before his crucifixion, before his earthly ministry would culminate in his death and resurrection, Jesus chose to share a meal with his closest friends. Jesus’s choice to have dinner speaks to the inherent value of eating with friends and family.
After their defense of New York, the Avengers chose to break bread in a broken down shawarma shop. After saving the earth and turning back Loki and his army, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Bruce Banner, Black Widow and Hawkeye enjoy some lamb wrapped in pita bread. The Avengers needed some time to gain traction as a team, but perhaps all they needed was to share a meal together. Instead of tearing apart the helicarrier, they could have simply torn into a bag of tortilla chips and a jar of salsa.
Jesus understood the power in a meal and how meals have a way of sticking with us. Some of my most vivid memories are from meals I’ve shared with friends. I can’t remember every meal that I’ve ever had, but I can remember dinners at The Cheesecake Factory in Las Vegas, romantic meals with Alycia at Fleming’s and countless lunches at Chili’s with my friends after church.
Jesus chose to share a meal with his disciples because he wanted them to remember that meal. In fact, that meal was so memorable it became known as the Last Supper. That meal was the subject of famous works of art and Christians all over the world still remember that meal on a regular basis. Jesus knew the significance of his final message to his disciples and chose a meal as the means to communicate that message.
We should always seize the opportunity to have a meal with friends, family and loved ones. Every time we share a meal together we’re communicating that we value those around the table. We’re also creating the opportunity to share thoughts, ideas and insights, which could potentially stick with us for the rest of our lives. More than anything, though, we’re investing in relationships, which are just as vital to our lives as food.
Maundy Thursday provides a moment to pause and take a breath before the weight of Good Friday. Even though Maundy Thursday is full of depth and significance, it’s also a great excuse to simply share a meal with those we care about most.
Who can you share a meal with in honor of Maundy Thursday?