Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Last Supper Discourses and God in the whisper

As we head toward lent I love to read the discourses from the Last Supper in the Gospel of John. I find that these passages (John Chapters 14-17) are very close to the heart of Christianity. They contain some of the most beautiful passages in the gospels. I also think that given the suffering and strife in the world today, they are very apt.

It says:

I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.
John 17:20-23

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate 8 to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:16-18

This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.
John 15:12-14

If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.
John 15:18-21

These four passages bring me great strength and joy. They sustain me in suffering and pain. There are so many other such passages in the Gospels and in the discourses. But throughout the year, and in lent, I read these chapters many times.

Another of my favotie passages, from Kings:

Then the LORD said, "Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will be passing by." A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD--but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake--but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire--but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, "Elijah, why are you here?"
1 Kings 19:11-13

God is not in the Hurricane, the fire or the earthquake, but in the whispering wind. It is so simple that it is almost feel good pop theology. But I love to read these verses when I'm trying to be open to God's plan for me.


hector said...

They are worth more prayful reading. Thanks for sharing!

Jackie Champion said...

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Sculptor Marisol Escobar was inspired by The Last Supper, rendering it as a life-sized, three-dimensional, sculptural assemblage using painted and drawn wood, plywood, brownstone, plaster and aluminum. This work, Self-Portrait Looking at The Last Supper, (1982–84) is in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

How to get to thereto look at The Last Supper up close and personal:

Tram 18-24: stop Corso Magenta - Santa Maria delle Grazie
Metro MM1: stop Conciliazione or Cadorna
Metro MM2: stop Cadorna

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