The Table of Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:9

What does it look like to work for peace in the world? There’s so many things we could talk about. Things that are worthy and I want to address.

Trevor had some great thoughts about violence this week. We can’t talk about peace without talking about violence. And we are addicted to violence in this country.

I want to talk about guns. I have so many thoughts about them; my own opinions. So many questions about their effects on us and what it means to carry one around.

We could talk about our hyper partisan political environment. The way we think in binary, black-and-white ways. The vitriol we seem to continually spew at one another instead of actually talking to one another.

So much we could talk about. And maybe some day we will. These are worthy discussions, but ones not often hashed out well online. I have some strong opinions, and I could be right or wrong.

For today, my thoughts continually drift back to a story:

When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve. While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”

Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?”

He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”

Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”

And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”

As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”

And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”

Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

I’m struck by the beauty and heartbreak of this scene. Jesus is eating his last supper with his friends and establishing the Eucharist for his followers.

The scene begins with betrayal. Jesus is aware and points it out. He doesn’t avoid what Judas has done. He meets it head on.

And then he eats the supper with Judas.

Fully aware of what’s gone on.
Knowing the score.
The cards are on the table.
Judas has turned his back on Jesus.

But Judas is still welcome.

When we talk about making peace, we can talk about a lot of things. Our world is not a peaceful one and there is a lot of wrong that needs to be fixed.

The most powerful thing in the world we can do for peace is to look at someone else, to not ignore the hurt and the pain that may exist between you, to throw all the cards on the table.

CommunionBreadWineAnd then to take out some bread.
And bring out the wine.
And eat together.

Because we have all betrayed.
No one is worthy.
But everyone has a seat.

Blessed are those who eat and drink with the unworthy ones.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

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