Amazing things happen in the most ordinary of places. When Jesus sent Peter and John to find a room to prepare the Passover Supper little did they know what would happen in that room over the next fifty days!
During this and the following three Meditations, we take a rather sideways glance, a quirky look, through Scripture (Luke chapters 22-24) from Maundy Thursday to Pentecost Sunday, and focus on that ‘Changing Room’ – where the room in which they lodged really did become a venue where they were changed for the good.
'www.laterooms.com. Enter.’ What are you doing?’ asked John 'Booking a room,’ said Peter. 'There are some amazing deals on here…’ ‘But he’s already told us how to find the room.’ ‘What? A man carrying a water jar? And what are the chances of that?’ ‘Come on,’ said John, ‘lets give it a go.’ They walked to the city gates. ‘What are the chances of meeting a man carrying a water jar?’ repeated Peter, as he stumbled into a man carrying a water jar. They followed the man and met the owner of the house. ‘We’ve come to see the room for the Passover.’ The room was already prepared. An ideal venue for a festival. Upstairs, out of the way. A proper party room. They wouldn’t be disturbed. They did a shop at the local super market, and got all they needed. John was the creative one and laid the table with royal precision. ‘I think that’s enough, John!’ exclaimed Peter, as John added yet another table decoration. ‘We have to get it right,’ he replied. ‘We have to get on with it,’ said Peter. ‘The others will be here soon.’ ‘Maybe a bit of atmospheric music?’ ‘Maybe not!’ Soon they were all sat at table, staring at him over a lit candle that cast shadows over the darkened walls. They waited for words and all they got was silence. Not an awkward silence – but the silence two lovers hold when they gaze into each other’s eyes. They could have been there for minutes or months, and then movement as he reached out and offered them food. A strange disjointed gesture. Their minds had been fixed on love and here he was breaking the stillness, the silence…with food. He gazed at the crust in his hand, lovingly, as if offering them something rare and precious, a piece of himself. ‘This is my body,’ he said. And so they ate. They raised their eyes to him again. A glass of wine, deep and red, almost a toast. But not quite. More a sharing, an intimate moment for friends. ‘This is my blood,’ he said. It was sweet and strong. They were intoxicated by love. And then the door opened as someone slipped into the darkness. The candle flickered in answer to the breeze, painting ominous pictures on the plaster. Jesus’ eyes followed the one who departed, and then his gaze fell to the floor as if focusing in on the future. And then he rose from table. The others had been ready for a late night talk, the kind they’d enjoyed before, listening to Jesus put the world to rights. But this night was different. Peter shuddered as Jesus pressed the handle of the door. He looked at them, a silent gesture to follow. John glanced back, looking at the table remains. The remnants of love. He closed the door behind him. And then the room was empty. Things would never be the same.