Weekly Student Devotional for the Season of Lent
The Christian season of Lent begins this year on Wednesday, March 1st, and continues until Sunday, April 18th. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, a holy day during which Christians are meant to reflect on their own limitations and mortality and remember their need for God. During the 40 days of Lent, Christians are called to reflect on their life of faith and their dependence on God for life, forgiveness, and salvation. Easter marks the end of Lent and the beginning of a season of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and the hope of new life.
Student Devotional for the seventh week of Lent
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’
I can’t tell you everything about communion. In fact, I can’t even tell you a lot about communion. What I can tell you is that communion is based off a dinner Jesus had with his pals. Jesus knew his time on Earth was coming to an end, so he got his pals together to eat. They met in a normal room with their normal group and ate food they would normally be eating. But Jesus used this parting meal to challenge his friends, asking them to remember him every time they eat bread or drink wine.
It’s a simple request, but it holds so much weight. Jesus is asking his friends to remember his life every time they partake in a situation that is so commonplace to them: a normal room, a normal group, normal food. To remember Jesus every time this happened would be frequent, multiple times a day.
Growing up, it was easy for me to write off Jesus’ request as meaning “think of me as often as you’re at the altar on Communion Sunday” or “think of me as often as you eat King’s Hawaiian and drink grape juice”. In reality, Jesus is saying “think of me as often as you eat” and “think of me as often as you share a meal” and “think of me as often as you’re around a table with pals”.
Suddenly, I’m remembering the life of Jesus frequently, multiple times a day. I’m remembering social justice and the willingness to push boundaries. I’m remembering the fostering of diverse communities and the time spent meaningfully pursuing relationships with people others didn’t trust. I’m remembering them frequently. So frequently, they become a part of how I live.
This week is Holy Week, and this Thursday is Maundy Thursday, when the dinner with pals is commemorated. However, if you’re reading this over your morning coffee, it’s already the time to think about social justice. If you’re about to head to lunch with your coworkers, it’s already the time to think about fostering diversity. If you’re sitting around with your friends, it’s already the time to think about intentionally pursuing meaningful relationships.
Thankfully, the life that Jesus lived is just as significant and applicable to where we are in 2017 as it was thousands of years ago.
I hope your Holy Week (and all the weeks after that) is spent eating good food with good people around big, open tables.
Hattie O’Hara, class of 2017