‘When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table.’ Luke 22.14
At the point in the Communion Service when the bread and wine are to be consecrated as a memorial of what Jesus did at the Last Supper, the words usually begin with this powerful phrase: ‘On the night that he was betrayed…’ On that particular night - when his friends would leave him, another friend would hand him over to the authorities and when he was to feel desperate darkness - we are told that he gave thanks to his Father and entrusted his life entirely to him.
The point is this: we all have times when we feel let down and betrayed by other people – sometimes we might even feel betrayed by God. The question is what do we do at these times? Our temptation is often to withdraw and hide away, either physically or emotionally. Yet in Jesus we see something totally different. His reaction was to surrender even more; to see beyond what was happening to him and to keep alive a belief that despite his present circumstances, the pit was not the end.
There is a lovely detail in one of the healing stories in Mark 7, when we are told that Jesus raised his eyes ‘to heaven’. It may be that he simply looked up, but perhaps he was looking to a different place or a different reality - taking his eyes off the situation that was immediately in front of him. We need to learn that ability.
Right now, take your eyes off whatever is causing you heaviness or anxiety. Instead look to the reality that you are loved by ‘Abba, Father’, that Jesus gave his life for you and that living within you is the very presence of the Holy Spirit.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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