Holy Thursday in Quarantine
“A blessing is not finished until we let it do its work within us and then pass it along, an offering grounded in the love that Jesus speaks of. Yet we cannot do this – as the disciples could not do this – until we first allow ourselves to simply receive the blessing as it is offered: as gift, as promise, as sign of a world made whole.”
–Jan Richardson, Painted Prayerbook
This is the Holy Thursday scripture: “Jesus knew that the Father had put Him in complete charge of everything, that He came from God and was on His way back to God. So He got up from the supper table, set aside His robe, and put on an apron. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with His apron. ‘If I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it – and live a blessed life.’” (John 13 The Message)
I love Jan Richardson’s words that “A blessing is not finished until we let it do its work in us.” The challenge in this time of quarantine, and in this strange and isolated Holy Week, is to notice and allow blessings to do their work in us. Notice what brings you joy, and satisfaction, and hope, and let those things sit with you and “fill your heart and satisfy your soul.” The next step of a blessing, then, is to pass it along. Phone calls, writing notes, sending emails, texts, and using Facetime and ZOOM are ways for us to stay connected and to share our blessings… even the blessings of tears, frustration, anger, and loneliness, because they are reminders of our humanness, and our need for God, and for community.
Pastor Burke Owens and I had planned for the St. Helena and Napa Methodist Churches to share a Seder celebration this evening, and since we can’t do that, Burke is offering a devotion this evening at 5pm at sthelenaumc.org. A Good Friday reflection will be offered tomorrow at noon by Bishop Carcaño and District Lay Leader, Michael Pope, at calnevumc.org. And Easter Sunday worship is at 9:30am on our website napamethodist.org and facebook.com/napafumc. All of these are ways of being connected as the people of God, and of celebrating the blessings of this good life.
In faith, Marylee