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. Luke 22.14,15
When Jesus is facing his greatest trial, and knows his arrest and execution are imminent, he does what many of us do when we are struggling, in need of support, anxious about what is happening to us or what is going to happen to us - he turns to his friends.
We read in the stories of Jesus’ last days that he gathered his friends together around the table to share a meal, at which he talked of what he was to undergo in the coming days, of the brokenness of his body and the shedding of his blood, he talked of betrayal and denial, he washed his disciples feet and told them to do the same for one another - a sign of humility and service.
In this gathering Jesus connects to his community and shares some of his suffering. This time with friends will lead into time in prayer and solitude. The combination of both is a source of strength and spiritual stamina.
Where can we turn when need such support? In today’s fragmented and often divided society where are the places we find comfort in our suffering, people to share our ‘Passion’, and places of joy and community? At it’s best that is what church is - a place where together all share in the knowledge of our own weakness, our own desire for spiritual healing and strength, and a place to belong and be loved.