Sometimes life serves up something we did not order. It may be a pleasant surprise: Twins! You won! A promotion!
Sometimes life serves up something we did not order. It may bad news: I’m sorry, the test results are positive. You’re being laid off. It was a bad investment.
Jesus gathered his disciples together for the Passover meal and part of what he gave them that evening was NOT what they ordered. They had ordered a good, fun, traditional Passover celebration. They had ordered victory over the oppressive forces of the Roman Empire. They had ordered success. They had ordered being on the inside and the right side when Jesus came into power. But, Jesus gave them something else.
He said, “I assure you that one of you will betray me—someone eating with me.” That wasn’t what they ordered!
They had ordered the traditional Passover meal, but Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. I assure you that I won’t drink wine again until that day when I drink it in a new way in God’s kingdom.”
I wonder if the disciples thought, “What kind of Passover meal is this? This isn’t what we ordered!”
Jesus said to them, “You will all falter in your faithfulness to me. This is because it is written, I will hit the shepherd, and the sheep will go off in all directions. But after I’m raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”
I wonder if the disciples thought, “This isn’t what we ordered!”
Even a brief reading of the Bible reveals that God is in the business of surprises. God constantly shatters many expectations. Not only that, when life delivers to our table something we did not order — and never would have ordered — how do we handle that? When the surprise is good and when the news is bad, what is our response and where is God in all of that? We stand in a long line of people of faith who, throughout the centuries, have wrestled with this issue. I look forward to Sunday when together we can do some wrestling for ourselves.
Grace and Peace,