Prayer: God, Creator and Savior, source of peace for the world: grant us peace on this day and always. Loving God, in a world that is often at war or conflict, grans us peace on this day and always. O Christ, You call us to unite in Your love. O Christ, our Shepherd, You come to seek those who are lost. O Christ, give new hope to those who are lonely and abandoned. Comforting Spirit, You place in our hearts the hope and joy of God. Comforting Spirit, You awaken in us a love that forgives. Come O Holy Spirit and hear our prayers. Amen.
Read St Mark 14: 12 – 16
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples ask Jesus where they should go and prepare for the feast. Jesus send two disciples into the city saying, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him…..” (St Mark 14: 13 NIV Zondervan, 1983).
The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a time of remembering the Exodus from Egypt. When Pharaoh finally let the Hebrews go, the families were in haste to leave they did not take their dough/leaven with them. In remembering the Exodus, families were to eat unleavened bread for seven days. Traditionally, families would clean out everything from their cupboards that would be used to make dough rise. All breads would be tossed and all cupboards would be cleaned. Leaven agents ferment in order to make dough. This fermentation process is a symbol to death and decay. It is only through decay and death that dough is created.
Unleavened Bread is made with flour and water and salt. All the ingredients are new and do not represent decay and death.
The disciples ask Jesus how they will prepare for this Feast. Jesus replies with, “Go into the city”. Think about this for a moment. Instead of Jesus saying that the disciples stay in Bethany, Jesus suggests that they all need to go into the City. What was in the city? Hospitality.
Where do you go and find hospitality today? In the past, it was our Churches that were places of hospitality. But today, many of our Churches are not places of hospitality. We tend to shut our Church doors and do not make our Church available to the community. When was the last time your Church opened up and hosted a free Thanksgiving supper for the community? When was the last time a free sandwich or soup was made in your Church kitchen because someone from the community needed a meal? Something to think about.
Go into the city and…
Prayer: Stir up, O Lord, the will of Your faithful people that we may bring forth fruit of good works and hospitality. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.