A Maundy Thursday Prayer: Pouring New Wine

Upper RoomIn the 1st century, in an upper room, near Mt. Zion, huddles a group of faithful followers and their teacher.  There must have been a feeling in the air that what had been may no longer be sufficient for what is to come.  We can imagine the emotion in that room, as they dwelled in the land of in between.

There was the familiar ritualistic meal, but different words were instituted, something radically new.  (“This is my body, this is my blood”)  Each person present must have wondered if they could pour new wine from these old wineskins.  They were not the first emergent community, but they were a most important gathering, even though they did not know what would happen next.

In the 21st century, in all kinds of rooms, all over the world, huddles groups of faithful followers, some with a teacher and others simply sharing the learning journey as the Spirit leads.  They too realize what has been may no longer suffice to meet the challenges of what is to come.  We can imagine the emotions in these rooms for they are us, and we live in the land of in between.Rethink Church

They too have with them familiar ritualistic tools, sacred words, symbols from the past, and perhaps a communal meal.  They float in the stream of change, as they sample new wine.  They are emerging, allowing the Spirit to use their fallible ways, so they may partner with their forbearers in ushering in the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.  None of these groups can claim to know what is to come.

The order (Maundy) of the day is to love one another.  These were the primal words spoken in that first emergent community and they maintain a profound relevance that fueled hope then and now.  We join them in holding up our cups, even when we do not know what tomorrow holds, trusting it will be filled up with the new wine of love of God and each other.

My prayers for Maundy Thursday:

  • I pray all faith communities may know the love of God and the love of each other that comes from being present at the feast where the new wine is served.
  • I pray for those who are drinking old wine will be open to the new wine God’s Spirit wants to pour into their lives and they may drink of it freely.
  • I am pray that emerging groups huddled in rooms drinking from new wine may be filled forms of new life that is contagious.

WineskinsLet us drink deeply from the love of God and the love of each other, so we may be the light of God’s love in whatever Upper Room we gather.

Russell

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