Friday, September 9, 2011
In his book about the lost chalice (cup) that Jesus used at the Last Supper, Thomas Costain closes with these words:
The chalice...will be buried deep down and lie in darkness for a very long time, perhaps for centuries. When it is brought out into the light again, it will be into a far different world. The earth will be peopled with new races, tall men, beardless for the most part, with strange talk on their tongues. There will be great cities and mighty bridges and towers higher than the Tower of Babel. But evil will be loosed and they will fight long and bitter wars with frightening new forces of destruction. In such a world as this, the little Chalice will look strange and lost and very lonely. But it may be that in this age, when man holds lightning in his hand and rides the sky as Simon the Magician strove to do, it will be needed more than it is needed now."
--The Silver Chalice, 1952
I was reading Costain's book shortly after 9/11/01. The novel is a fictional rendering of what may have happened to the chalice that Jesus used to share the passover meal with his disciples. When I reached the final paragraphs, I was chilled. Several images in his description had an eery thread: great cities, towers, destruction, riding the sky. Something else is Costain's words too; the hope of healing is in the cup of Christ.
What does that mean? In a world where the unthinkable and unimaginable happened, Jesus extends an invitation to the table where we drink from his cup. A Passover celebration, the beginning of a new covenant, suffering, love, blessing, sacrifice, healing and forgiveness...all contained in the Cup of Christ. We can receive it and we can share it.
*The image is from Garth Williams, published in a children's book in 1986. My mother passed the book along and I treasure the back cover art with the twin towers.
Monday, September 5, 2011
I found myself the center of attention,
the center of his attention
not me really, my hand
this good-for-nothing hand
injury & ugliness
right here in the open
this cursed hand
curled & weak
can't work or caress
I'm not even known by my name anymore
He asks the unimaginable
to stretch and extend
what I most need to hide
Now he's center of my attention
hand and life restored by Love
no one can undo what he's done
*A reflection on the story of the man with the withered hand in Luke 6:6-11. The image is my sun-scorched basil on the porch.