I really like eating, which is one reason I’m happy Jesus shared a meal with his closest friends during Holy Week. On Maundy Thursday the Church reflects on the Last Supper. I love the Last Supper and how it shows the intimacy and camaraderie between Jesus and his disciples. I don’t picture them sitting on the same side of the table like in Da Vinci’s painting. I like to imagine them sitting in a circle, sharing stories and enjoying their time together.
Here is Mark’s account of the Last Supper:
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.
All right, maybe that doesn’t sound like a dinner party full of laughter, but it is definitely intimate. The night before his crucifixion Jesus wanted to spend time with his closest friends. He wanted to teach them a few more truths. He wanted to share a meal with his community.
Sharing a meal is essential to our experience as humans, in our universe and any other.
Kirk and his crew shared a meal with Chancellor Gorkon and his Klingon counterparts.
Some of Harry’s happiest moments were sharing a meal with the Weasleys at the Burrows.
After saving the world the Avengers shared a meal of shawarma.
God created us with the need for both community and sustenance. We know we need food but sometimes we forget that we also need people around us to share our joys and carry our burdens. Jesus took care of his need for community and sustenance at the same time and we should do the same thing.
Hanging out with a friend while eating Chick-fil-A.
Inviting another couple over for dinner.
Going out and getting ice cream with your small group.
As Christians we should model Jesus’s behavior. That means pursuing righteousness, spending time with the Father and seeking justice. That also means sharing a meal with our friends and investing in community while breaking bread.
How has sharing a meal strengthened your relationships?