Here is the first in the series of Holy Week reflections from Churches Together in North Baddesley. The transcript of the video is below.
“Welcome everybody to this the first in a series of reflections brought to you by the ministers of the churches together in North Baddesley.
Throughout Holy Week we will be following the Passion Narrative through Matthew’s Gospel from Palm Sunday celebrated by Christians everywhere last Sunday through to the emptiness of Holy Saturday. Today I will be reading from Matthew chapter 26 verses 17 to 30
On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat Passover?”
He said to them, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, the time is near; I will keep the Passover into your house with my disciples’.” So the disciples did as Jesus directed them, and prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, “Truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me .” And they became greatly distressed, and began to say to him one after another, surely not I Lord? And he answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me, will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that one had he not been born at all.” Judas, who betrayed him, said surely not I, Rabbi and he replied, “You have said so.”
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, “Take, eat; this is my body”. Then he took the cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them saying, “drink this all of you; for this is my blood of the Covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will never return to drink of this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom. “
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives .
This is the Gospel – praise to you O Christ.
Well this reading is one more commonly read on Maundy Thursday in the Anglican Church as well as the Catholic and Orthodox traditions; Maundy Thursday is a day of obligation a day in which you must you are obligated to attend church. Many churches will share in an Agape meal – fellowship meal and the reading we’ve just heard will be re-enacted during that meal
But of course the Last Supper is reenacted every Sunday in church by many different Christian traditions but in these very strange times Christians all over the world are not able to meet in church and are not able to celebrate this sacrament, this Holy Communion, Mass, the Eucharist now
whatever it is you call it in your church
Lancelot Andrews was a former Bishop of Winchester in the 16th century he was way beyond his years in his thinking about time and space and his theological thought at that time there was a lot of unrest in the church it was the time of the Reformation and there was much discussion about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist the Catholic tradition held that the bread and wine transformed into the actual body of Christ transubstantiation- the Protestants that held that it was a symbolic reenactment.
But Andrews said but as God is not limited by time and space he could be always present omnipresent; and therefore when the Eucharist is celebrated it is not that he is present in the bread and wine but that he is present there and then. It is as if we were all at that Last Supper and the words of the priest says are Christ’s very own words. We have if you like all time traveled to that Last Supper, perhaps not so much that we have time traveled, but that God has. Time is nothing to him which at a time like this must give us all great comfort to remind ourselves that the real presence of God of Christ is with us always in the form of the Holy Spirit. That as Christians praying and worshiping together, but apart, we all continue to share in that fellowship with our brothers and sisters around the world and in God’s love and care for us all.
May God bless you and keep you always”