Saturday, 12 October 2013

Matthew 26:1-35 - Using traditions

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We are getting close to the end of the gospel account; in Matthew 26:1-35 we read about the Seder, or Passover meal and some of the conversation that took place around the table.

Notice how Jesus is embedded in the Jewish culture of his day, he celebrates the traditional feasts including this one, but he reuses some of the traditions for his own purposes. He says that the broken bread is his body and the wine is his blood. This would have been very memorable for the disciples. They'd have said to themselves every year, "Do you remember how Yahshua said this bread is my body and this wine is my blood?"

After the meal they went out to the Mount of Olives, and he told them that they would abandon him later that night.

We can learn from him even in this; we, too, should be embedded in our own culture. We might repurpose some of our traditions. Here in the UK we sometimes raise our glasses and say a few meaningful words when we share a drink on special occasions - weddings, retirement parties, at a house warming or at a special meal in a restaurant. Why not use times like that to give thanks to him for his involvement in everything we do?

We enjoy a barbecue in the garden in warm summer weather from time to time, and often invite friends or neighbours. Could we use those occasions in some way too? Use your imagination. If necessary, create a tradition of your own. Why not?

Another activity many people enjoy is to take a stroll together in the countryside. Perhaps we could use those times to think about some of the things Jesus said to his disciples as they walked together 2000 years ago.

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