Maya Angelou is often quoted as saying, wisely, "When people show you who they are, believe them..." The idea is that if someone lies to you once, they'll probably lie again. If someone shows you that they are selfish or unkind, trust that they know themselves better than you do.
This week, in our sermon series on Rowan Williams' book
Being Christian, we explore the Eucharist. And as we do, we encounter Jesus and the disciples
having one final meal together, before it all falls apart.
Jesus knows who the disciples really are. They have shown him. One will betray, another will deny. Most will run away, scared of the violence of the crowds. Jesus sees that he will die, his message of love and justice being far too much for the powers that be. Humanity is showing its capacity for evil.
But even in that horrific moment, Jesus sees that there is more...
In that moment, Jesus breaks bread, and it is more than bread.
In that moment, Jesus shares wine, and it is more than wine.
And in that moment, when everyone has fallen short of goodness and suffering is at hand and it seems that death will win the day, they are MORE than flawed friends. They become Jesus' body too.
In that moment, Jesus connects this bunch of messed up people, and they become more than messed up people. They are community. They are welcomed, despite their flaws. They are wanted, anyway. And they are told - do this for others. Welcome others. Feed others. Bring others together. Invite as you have been invited. Love as you have been loved.
In that moment, Jesus sees all of who they really are, and he shows them that they are more than they know. He shows them that they are children of God, capable of love and sacrifice and beauty, even in a terrible moment like this one.
In one of the worst moments for all of them, Jesus shows them that there is more to them than meets the eye.
Williams writes, "It is not just that we ask the Holy Spirit to effect a miraculous change in the bread and wine. We ask the Holy Spirit to effect a miraculous change in all of us, to make us capable of receiving these gifts, and as we receive them to go out in the power of the Spirit to live to God's praise and glory."
Sometimes, we're a tough crew. That much is true. And Jesus knows it, too. But Jesus sees the "more." And Sunday, he'll invite us to eat and drink and become that "more" in this messed up world.
Know that at Jesus' table, you are always welcome. And Jesus' welcome shows us how to welcome the "more" in others.
Come, join the feast!