It was my first year in college. I was picking up some lunch while on campus. I don’t remember why the glass Snapple bottle slipped from my fingers but I do know what happened next. I caught the bottle but I was too late. The bottle shattered on the ground while my hand was around it. A deep gash tore through one of my fingers. A trip to the university health center was in order.
At the health center, I was prepped for stitches. The nurse asked me if it would be okay for a student volunteer to watch the procedure. The student was thinking about a medical career. I said, “Sure. The more the merrier.” The physician assistant invited the student (and me) to watch the simple procedure. The finger still bled but I was fascinated. I tried to get the best position possible to see my finger put back together. The pre-med student looked at the still bleeding finger. She then ran out of the room. The sight of all that blood was making her nauseous.
In our reading from Exodus tonight, blood is central to the text. The ancient world did not have the medical knowledge we do. How the body functioned was a mystery to them (and is still a mystery today). But the ancient world did know the importance of blood. Blood flows. Blood is pumped through the body. Blood makes life happen.
And life is what the blood on the door is all about. Each family gathered together to take the life of a lamb (its blood) and make a sign on their door. The angel, checking each household, would see the sign of life and passover their house. The life of the lamb does more than keep the family safe. The life of the lamb also invites the family to experience the entire Exodus story. A story where God’s people are moved from slavery into freedom; from suffering into abundant life. God doesn’t want God’s people to just survive. God wants God’s people to thrive.
The story of Maundy Thursday is what a thriving life looks like. A life that thrives is a life that gives. A life that thrives is a life that serves even those who betray it. A life that thrives is a life that sees Jesus, serves everyone, and always loves.
Each week, I write a reflection on one of our scripture readings for the week. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship Bulletin for Maundy Thursday, 4/13/2017.