March 24, 2015 Readings: Pss 121, 122, 123, Jer 25:8-17, Rom 10:1-13, John 9:18-41
Jer 25:15. Take from My hand this cup of the wine of wrath.
An episode in The Quest of the Holy Grail, a thirteenth-century work, insists that Holy Communion always contains a strong dose of Lent. When in The Quest Sir Lancelot approaches the Eucharistic cup, his body freezes up, paralyzed and senseless. With the chalice before him, he discovers that his sin has left him powerless. Due to sin, he finds himself unable to stir or speak.
In Jer. 25:15-17, Jeremiah travels the globe in a vision, serving God's chalice of wine to the nations. The wine makes earth lose control of its limbs, just like Sir Lancelot. Perhaps earth's nations indulge in the drinking willingly, eager, like pop singer Charli XCX, about "getting high and getting wrecked." They recklessly drain the powerful spirits down to the dregs! Jesus, in contrast, recoils from Jeremiah's bitter dregs. He holds life precious.
In Gethsemane Jesus prayed three times that Jeremiah's cup might somehow be drained in another way. He drank it nonetheless, knowing earth's peoples could scarcely endure the ordeal. We do now gratefully share the cup of remembrance at each Eucharist. We do so worthily, however, only through the strength of Christ's love for us. We drink with trepidation, humility, and a Lenten spirit.