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  • Rev. Caroline

Our plans, God's plan

Today I received an email from a couple who have decided to postpone their wedding. Not the first I have recently replied to, expressing my sympathy that so much of their planning will have to be done again.

Let’s take a few moments to look at the Passover in that light. The chief priests and scribes were planning, or rather, plotting, to do away with Jesus. In cahoots with Judas Iscariot, credited by some as the greatest plotter of all. And the disciples, following Jesus’ plan to celebrate their own Passover meal – little knowing what it would become. Peter, planning to prove Jesus wrong – he would not disown him.

We know how these things worked out, thanks to our familiarity with scripture a couple of millenia later. Jesus by contrast knew it all in advance. Yet he remained the perfect host: not only did he welcome both Judas and Peter to the table, he even took the servant’s role and insisted on washing the feet of each of the twelve. In this act of humility he demonstrated something he had recently said, in the hearing of the twelve and the larger crowd, in a long diatribe against the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees who do not practise what they preach: “The greatest one among you must be your servant. Whoever makes himself great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be made great.” (Matthew chapter 23, verses 11-12)

After the supper, Jesus prayed alone in Gethsemane: “My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Matthew chapter 26, at verse 39)

I invite you to join in prayer now:

Heavenly Father

The events of this night remind us

that even for your Son

fulfilling your will wasn’t easy

As for us,

we do not always understand your will

and now, as coronavirus sweeps the world

indiscriminately affecting rich and poor,

old and young, faithful and faithless

we are perplexed,

scared, anxious …

We imagine that table in the upper room, the disciples focused on Jesus, what he was doing and saying

By your grace may we do the same

so that our perplexity turns into resolve

our fear into courage and hope

our anxiety for ourselves into community spirit

We offer this prayer, and the prayers of our individual hearts and minds

in Jesus’ name

Amen

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