Today is Thursday.
Tonight Jesus will sit down with his disciples and eat. He’s waited and longed for this meal with them. John tells us Jesus knows his hour has arrived.
They gather for the Passover meal. Jesus’ Twelve and others congregate in a prepared room to celebrate the exodus of Israel from the bowels of Egypt. And they will vaguely remember the Passover lamb and the hyssop on the doors. Later as they look back and remember this meal they will understand that the Passover Lamb sat among them. The One whose blood would mark their door frames shared broken bread and poured-out wine with them.
During this Resurrection season I’ve thought about this day of the Passion Week more than any other. I have spent a great deal of time in this room at this table watching Jesus. I have lingered here in the upper room longer than any other place. I have waited here to see who I am in the room.
Who am I?
Am I one of the silent ones who fades into the backdrop of the meal? Absorbing or missing the implication of Jesus’ words and actions? Am I oblivious to the unfolding of intentions and events around me? Will I stare at Jesus with blankness? Am I dull to the great plan that is being brought to fruition?
Am I John who makes sure I am seated next to Jesus and leaning back towards him to catch his every word? Am I behaving as the beloved? Making sure I stay as close as I can? Or will I abuse this favored position? Will I employ a sense of entitlement because I am a beloved disciple?
Am I Peter who asks the hard questions? Who questions Jesus’ methods? Who feels unworthy to have Jesus bend and wash my feet. Am I he? Am I this one who will boldly rebuke Jesus? Who will often call him to be what he is not? Am I this man who must have it all or none? Am I impassioned and wholehearted, yet often misguided? Am I this one who will shake her head in denial only a few hours after my loud declarations? Will say I never knew him? Will I hear the echoing of a rooster’s alarm?
Am I Judas? Oh, God. Am I? Am I dipping my bread in communion with you and all the while contemplating how I will leave the table to go and do something drastic? Am I more concerned with the loss of financial stability than the loss of innocence? Am I full of justifications for my pilfering of the money bags? Am I looking at Jesus and feeling contempt rise as our would-be-Messiah is stooping to wash our feet? Am I he? Am I one of the sheep who does not recognize your voice? Am I the one who will hold silver in the folds of my tunic when I kiss your cheek?
Am I Jesus? Do I know your power? Do I know that all things are possible with you? Do I know that I come from you? Do I know I have been birthed in your image and that when this life here is finished I will return to you? Do I know this? Am I Jesus who will strip down to my nothingness and wrap a towel around me? Am I Jesus who will bend low, face down, back bowed and lift dirty feet to the heart of me? Am I Jesus who ladles water over crusted feet and wipes away the grime of living? Am I Jesus who will dry those same feet? Am I Jesus who will serve when no one else will bother? Am I Jesus filled with so much security in His Father that in absolute humility will squat and serve friends who will fail me?
Oh, God! Who am I?