We are at the table again as Jesus tells the disciples he’s leaving them behind. They begin to believe him, to see the roundabout way they’ll have to walk without him. It sounds like a last-ditch effort to over- come so great a distance between them when Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid” (v. 27). Yet over the great distance of generations, this table continued to be a place to find this peace and come to believe. This peace I am finding in the table.
The table has welcomed people who loved Jesus and trusted his
peace. The table has held those who died hedging their bets that
Christ’s peace would arrive in full at the end. No matter how devoted
they are to Jesus, this table has included those who also loved the
world. We sit unencumbered by pretense, not hiding pain or denying
shame. Forget false appearances here, for what keeps us from truth
keeps us from being set free. So, proclaim the truth zestfully. Howl at
the scandal. Slip into the kitchen and share your secrets.
My mom called this table “a jubilee at a funeral,” She meant
that seasonal arrival of oceanic life to the shallows of Mobile Bay, a
miracle becoming more common as oceans rise and waters warm.
And she meant it as a fulfillment of that older Jubilee, when rela-
tionships will be made right. Slaves, freed. Debts, forgiven. Lands,
This peace that comes at the end of the journey began with the events Jesus and his disciples come to the table to remember. I have told you before it occurs, so that when it does occur you may believe (v. 29).
The peace Jesus promises remains deeply undefined. What images, sounds, smells, and feelings would you use to embody the peace of Christ?
God, let us witness peace in all the small things that surround us, with faith that we will one day experience it in fullness. Amen.