“Preparation” 29 March: Luke 22.1-23

Today’s Word: “So, they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.” (Luke 22.13).

In today’s reading, Luke takes us into territory where deceit, mistrust, conspiracy and hatred are rife. He gives us a penetrating analysis of how evil feeds on darkness, fear (2) and secrecy (6). However, whilst Jesus’s enemies made preparation for betrayal and murder, so the embryonic ‘church’, as it were, prepares for worship. Importantly, this time of prayer, which is now imbued with the deepest significance (15), in no way resembles some sheltered or escapist space beyond the reach of all the ‘unpleasantness’. In fact, as Jesus indicates, not only is the betrayer present at the meal (21) but Jesus’s own suffering and self-giving love will be for the transformation of all this evil. Whilst for now, the darkness is all-pervasive and the confused disciples (23) seem clueless as to what’s going on; worship as it were ‘centres’ us in the truth of things. This meal, which Jesus calls the ‘new covenant in my blood’ (20), is a foretaste of the in-breaking kingdom which has become the beating heart of Christian living and praying for all time.

Our Prayer for Lent is: “Lord Jesus, draw me into your friendship”.