Ritual – Mark 14:22-26


Full Text

Wow, it was a busy week. This text was the core of my lenten devotion last week. Prepping for Mauday Thursday as well. It was Mark’s account of the Last Supper. In these lenten devotions, we’ve been walking through the Markan account of Holy Week. I’ve also been using a phrase to look at the events. It’s about Jesus, and He has a mission.

The cloud of biblical images around the last supper supports that bi-polar sentence better than many. The OT cloud is the passover. In the Last Supper Jesus redefines every element as pointing to him. A 1500 year old ritual is redefined in startling ways. Not the least of which is it becomes forward looking instead of a remembrance meal. The passover remembered when God acted. The Last Supper/Lord’s Supper recalls/longs for the day Jesus drinks again in the Kingdom. The NT cloud is all about mission and it is in parables. The wedding banquet at the end of time. In those parables the Kings says go bring everyone in. The city dwellers and the country folk, the crippled, the blind and the poor. That missional imperative is something we definitely know. We would often rather argue about theological points or fine shadings. We don’t know much of that for certain. What we do know – It is about Jesus, and He’s got a mission…and he wants us on that mission.

In finance there is a term – safe harbour. What it means is that there are gray areas of tax law and accounting rules. You can explore those grey areas, usually through the tax courts. If you lose, you will owe penalties. There is usually a safe harbour, behavior spelled out at appropriate. The tax courts may eventually rule the behavior wrong and change the regulations, but if you were in that safe harbour there will be no penalty. Theologically speaking there is a safe harbour – personally, believe and be baptized; as a church, be about mission.