7Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.8So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us that we may eat it.”9They asked him, “Where do you want us to make preparations for it?”10“Listen,” he said to them, “when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house he enters11and say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks you, “Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’12He will show you a large room upstairs, already furnished. Make preparations for us there.”13So they went and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.14When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him.15He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;16for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”17Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves;18for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”19Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”20And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.21But see, the one who betrays me is with me, and his hand is on the table.22For the Son of Man is going as it has been determined, but woe to that one by whom he is betrayed!”23Then they began to ask one another, which one of them it could be who would do this. Luke 22:7-23
My congregation gathers for a meal this evening and so we have set the tables and prepared the room. (I know the story tells of Peter and John preparing, but the traditions of the Passover Meal include the women) My daughters and I have done this as part of our own devotions this week. It's humbling. It also brings back the women who would have prepared a room for Jesus....the women who would have been journeying with Jesus preparing meals, taking care of the men, etc.
As I reflected with my daughters on this we also talked about the women who were left behind when everyone left after dinner. Imagine watching the conversation at dinner and then watching those men walk out of the room that night. Did they clean up from the dinner in silence? in frenzy? in worry? in fear? Did they sit and wait for word?
We know the women were there...the scriptures present them as silent....but we know they were there...they were on the fringes watching. I imagine they were weeping with broken hearts....fiercly angry and dismayed at their own helplessness. Did they comfort Peter when he came after his own denial of Jesus? Or were they angry? Or were they so overwhelmed they watched the story unfold in numbness as it went so quickly and painfully?
I know the story of the men, but we forget the women. They were there. They were present. I would have been with them.