The Condemned‚Äôs Last Meal
Two years ago I heard the news of the death of Michael Clarke Duncan, the mountain of a man who played John Coffey, the strangely-gifted convict on death row in the superb movie, The Green Mile. That idea of “Death Row”—a gathering place of the condemned, the Green Mile, the last stretch of green linoleum leading to the electric chair and, of course, the last meal, the opportunity to order whatever you want to eat for the final dinner before you are executed—all of it is evocative and disturbing and strangely captivating.
Tonight, Maundy Thursday, we prepare to walk the Green Mile with Jesus. Even though his disciples don’t yet realize it, Jesus knows he is living on borrowed time. He knows of his impending arrest, the kangaroo court trial that he will face, the physical torture and emotional and spiritual anguish that lies before him. Knowing all that, he gathers his disciples for the condemned’s last meal, one that will shape his followers for two thousand years and more.
I invite you to the start of the Jesus’ Green Mile tonight. Whatever else you might be doing, if it is deferrable, please defer. Please come, join your church family, enter into the pathos and pain of that dark moment and so prepare yourself to better celebrate the brightness of Resurrection Morn.
Maundy Thursday service is special. It starts in darkness and in silence. It is the quietest service of our year and everyone who experiences it gets hooked. Come a little before 7:00, prepare your hearts, enter his gates in silence and be prepared to share in this powerful experience.
Then, I do hope to see you on Sunday at one of our four services. 8:00 and 9:15am will be more like our first service; 10:30 and 11:47am will be more like our regular second service. If you can, please come to the first or last service. And please, please, please… will you hear the cry of your pastor’s heart and bring someone along? I will preach the most pointedly gospel Easter message I’ve ever preached. Those who come, whatever their place in the journey of faith, will have a clear opportunity to respond to Jesus.
Will you help?