Drinking of The Cup


Can you drink the cup?  Can you empty it to the dregs?  Can you taste all the sorrows and joys?  Can you live your life full of whatever it brings? Henri Nouwen Can You Drink the Cup

That is the question that Maundy Thursday asks of us. Can we drink the cup? And I would add, will we drink the cup?

During my high school years, I was part of a counseling group that met every Thursday night.  Each year, the Thursday night before Easter we would attend a Maundy Thursday service at a small Episcopalian church in Nashville.  Although I didn't then, nor would I now call myself Episcopalian, I had grown up in the church and in a home that was very deeply rooted on faith and this experience once a year is one that I think of each year as Easter approaches.

With each year that passes, that Thursday night as Jesus and his disciples gathered around the table with his disciples holds a greater significance in my soul.

Jesus gathered his disciples, his closest followers, around the table where they shared a meal.  They shared a meal that was Jesus' last meal. He broke the bread and poured the wine and gave thanks.

Jesus knew the cup that was before him that evening. It was a cup of suffering.  What a time around the table that must have been, filled with grief and gratitude. Filled with anticipation and dread for what awaited.

That Maundy Thursday, Jesus had the cup of suffering set before him.  He willing took the cup and drank it, drank it to the dregs.

And it was in his drinking of the cup of suffering that he offers us the cup of salvation.

He offers us the cup of salvation and the invitation, the invitation to drink it, drink it to the dregs and to taste and see that he is good.

It was in his willingness to drink the cup of suffering that was set before him that he offers to us the cup of salvation. 

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. Psalm 116:13