A Simple Meal

Jesus, gathered with his closest friends, for an intimate meal.

Sounds simple enough but it was anything but simple.

It was more than just the celebration of Passover – though that is significant enough.

It was more than just one more way for Jesus to model the love he had for them, and that he wanted them to have for others – though that is profound enough.

It was more than the ushering in of God’s kingdom in his own day and time, though that is powerful enough.

It was the culmination of his earthly life to that point, the answering of his call to destiny, the instituting of a meal which today, all over the world, is remembered as the Lord’s Supper, Communion, the Eucharist, and the Mass.

Today, on Maundy Thursday, Christians all over the world follow the mandate to “Remember Me.”  We take the holy bread and cup, one Lord, one faith, one baptism.

We remember the Lord’s love, his example, his compassion, his betrayal, his sacrifice – all leading to the cross of Calvary.

We hold our breath, await the sad recollection even as we give thanks for it.

We wait – prayerfully waiting for Good Friday to come and go.

Most of all, we wait, for Easter morning.

Nothing simple about it.  Is there?

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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