The Last Supper – The First Eucharist
We do not know for certain who gathered with Jesus at the Last Supper. Three Gospels refer to “the twelve”. John says only “his disciples.” We do know the names of some of those closest to Jesus. It is possible to think they were there too. Whenever the Church celebrates Eucharist now, we know that we gather not only with those physically in the room with us, but with all of God’s friends, “the saints”:
The Cloud of Witnesses
They gathered in an upper room to share a meal. And the names of those gathered were these: Simon, called Peter, Mary, called the Magdalene, Simon’s brother Andrew, Janes and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee; Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus, Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-collector; Clopas and his wife, Mary; James, the son of Alphaeus, and his mother Mary; Thaddeus; Simon the patriot’ Joanna, Judas Iscariot and Mary, Jesus’s Mother. All chosen by Jesus to be with him that night, as we are chosen to be with him this night.
Lord Jesus, seeing that we are surrounded tonight by such a great cloud of witnesses to faith – those who ran their races before us and have entered into their rests – we join them now to praise your name.
For the first apostles, and for all those who have kept the light of the Gospel burning down the centuries, we give thanks.
For those who have gone before us and passed the light on to us, parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, especially those we remember now in silence…..
For those who are still on the journey and who have shaped us: parents, teachers, church ministers, congregations which whom we have worshipped, friends
For those suffering or in fear or alone in the world tonight we ask for your blessing and for doctors, nurses and health care workers and those making policy decisions we ask your blessing and pray in gratitude for their skill and courage. We give thanks.
Come, Lord Jesus, take your rightful place as host at this, your table.