Scripture: Corinthians 11:23-26 (NRSV)
We lost Grandma during Lent this year.
Growing up, staying at Grandma’s house was a treat. We had our routine. Breakfast always included homemade bread and vitamin C. Grandpa always read Scripture; Grandma read the meditation. Grandpa prayed for each child and grandchild before the day began. At the close of each day, Grandma would dole out cran-raspberry juice to each of us, hug us and send us to bed.
These rituals became the markers of good times at Grandma’s house. A lot of activity always occurred between the homemade bread and the cran-raspberry juice during the day. We gathered, we talked, we worked, we played. We knew we were loved, we knew where we belonged.
The week before Grandma died, I had the privilege of visiting with her one last time. We talked about times when she cared for my sisters and me, as well as my cousins. We talked about Goshen College and how she believed in this place. When it was time for me to leave, we shared cran-raspberry juice, she hugged me and told me she loved me.
The night Jesus prepared himself and his disciples before the crucifixion, he offered a ritual of sharing a meal together marking the group who shared in his ministry. Perhaps they did not understand fully, but they believed in something greater than themselves. While accustomed to Jewish Passover rituals, the new order required a new symbol of joining, of signing up.
At 99 years of age, my grandma knew what it meant to sign up. Even when hospice arrived and asked her about her goals, she replied without hesitation, “I want to serve God and join Jesus in heaven forever.”
We remember, we sign up, we are loved, we belong.