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At a table with shiny olive oil spills, amid scattered bread crumbs and wrinkled Mediterranean olives, they would have pushed back their wine cups and straightened to sing.
And we've all had that -- a moment when familiar lyrics suddenly have deeper personal meaning to us, and it leaves us breathless.
I can imagine it in his voice, choked up at times as the words speak the tumult in his heart. An annual tradition, it was always this song after the sacred feast, and Jewish people everywhere were singing it tonight. But this evening, the words shook him, expressing his own feelings and thoughts so clearly: the fear and angst, the jubilation and determination, and the wild purpose of it all.
Tucked into a familiar Bible passage about the Last Supper of Jesus, we read that Jesus and his disciples, upon finishing the Passover meal, sang a hymn and then left for the Garden of Gethsemane.
This was the night that had been culminating for the past thirty years or so. The week where he wept over Jerusalem, saying, "If only you had known what would bring you peace!" This was the night where his friend Judas would betray him to death row, and to unimaginable pain. This was the day that had been in the works for millennia.
Tiny study notes at the bottom of my page reveal that the hymn they sang was Psalm 115-118. Turning to that section, I read it, was blown away, and alternated between crying in my kitchen and yelling, "Wow, God! Wow!"
Where could we turn in our next hard stage? Where do you go when life is hard? What helps you when you're worried, afraid, and in pain? What gives you purpose?
Picture Jesus at the table, just hours before his death, saying these words in a husky choked up voice.
(This is so worth it. Take a minute or two with the above link, and read those verses aloud, or consider clicking the audio link there and letting his words wash over you.)
Can you imagine him singing this that night? Can you imagine?!
(and linking, always linking with Ann at A Holy Experience to count gifts. This...)