The turkey is gone
The pies devoured.
Memories of a pleasant day remain
Talking, laughing and sharing with family.
Sorrows that intrude on the storybook day…
That I’ve built up in my mind.
That picture perfect dinner like you see in photos,
We are led to imagine that no one in these pictures has any problems.
Everyone gets along and enjoys each other’s company
All are healthy, happy and wise.
Instead a certain sadness hovers around the fringes of our group
As I realize the day was not so joyful for some.
A bittersweet gathering.
A feeling that was a constant presence for our Lord in the last days.
“Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” John 13:1.
What was it like for Jesus—sitting among his closest friends, those he loved dearly—and knowing it was his last meal with them as a mortal.? A meal filled with chatter, maybe even good-natured teasing and laughter.
Knowing he would shortly be betrayed by Judas
Knowing he would also denied by Peter
Knowing they would all scatter in fear and panic.
We are mistaken to think these last hours were easy for our Lord, that he floated through the evening, with an otherworldly demeanor.
Verse 21 tells us ” …he was troubled in spirit.”
He was sad and heavily burdened with the task he was facing. An unthinkable request of sacrifice by his beloved Father loomed over him.
So he spent those last hours trying to impart everything he could to equip these dear friends. Building relentlessly on all the lessons he had woven in their souls the past three years. Reminding them once more what they needed to impart to others, and cherish in their own hearts.
He washed their feet—A final act of selflessness to tattoo on their brains.
He was respectful to Judas—I would have wanted to yell at him, and try to talk some sense into him. Yet, he accepted God’s plan.
He imparted words of wisdom and love and revealed the events to come—confusing words they would understand later. Words they would cling to in the coming days.
As we reflect on our Thanksgiving day, lets remember those who had a less-than picture perfect day. Those burdened with sorrows and trials.
Let us continue in our seven days of thankfulness to God, but let us also offer a prayer for those who struggle this time of year. The time of year where many of us gather with family and many more are alone.
They are reminded of their aloneness in excruciating ways as this holiday season takes shape.
Read John 13-17 for Jesus whole discourse before his arrest.
-Continue your list of three thankfuls until you have seven days worth.
-Meditate over that list of twenty-one blessings throughout the holiday season.