I love holy week. It’s a time when we experience the whose span of human emotion. I really couldn’t choose a favorite part of the week, but I am particularly fond of Maundy (Holy) Thursday. It’s on this night we remember Jesus’ offering of the new commandment (remember that?) and what’s sometimes referred to as ‘the agony in the garden.’ Central to all of this, of course is the Last Supper.
When I first visited Westfield, I discovered a lovely 19th century farm table on the third floor of our new wing (built c. 1920). At first sight, I immediately wanted it for my house. Unfortunately, it’s so large that it won’t fit in my kitchen dining area. BUT, it does fit beautifully in the sanctuary.
After a couple of attempts to bring the table in through the back doors of the sanctuary (thanks Richard, Bob, John, and Scott!), it finally made an appearance through the front double doors of the building. We surrounded the table with a rag-tag grouping of wooden chairs. It’s a beautiful place to share the gospel feast and a beautiful metaphor, really. We all gather around this table–a table people have gathered around for who knows how long–and sit in chairs that are like us. They’re different shapes, sizes, ages, heights. But they all provide a seat at the table. Seats for disciples–for doubters, for hopers, for lovers, for betrayers, for us.
Thursday night we will gather around this table and share our simple meal. Then we’ll read the stories of our faith and watch as the symbols so very dear to us are stripped away. And then we wait.
Here are some photos of the sanctuary set up for Thursday night: