For 30 Pieces of Silver, and a Piece of Chocolate Cake

And Jesus gathered his disciples, those he loved best. A fresh loaf of bread on the table between them, like a thousand times before. He broke it and said

everything is about to change, so I’m going to give you something.

This bread–this is the bread of life. A living sacrifice of simple grace. As often as you are hungry, remember me. Remember my words as the thing that gives you life; remember my compassion, walk in the ways of grace and peace, and I will be with you.

Then he poured them some wine, and said a prayer of blessing over it. He told them

This is my promise to you, a cup of hope. As often as you are thirsty–as often as you thirst for righteousness–remember me. Remember my healing touch. Remember the poor, and I will be with you.

But mostly, and here he took their hands, and gathered them to each other;

I will be with you as long as you are together. No matter what else comes. 

At these last words, he seemed to glance towards the corner

where one of them sat silently; where one of them sat, counting 30 silver pieces under the table.

All the rest went out to pray. In the days to come, they would speak these gifts he gave them again and again.

At every regular meal, with every one-word blessing

They would remember the table where they gathered, that one time, which they didn’t know was the last time. It was just a day. Impossibly ordinary.

They would remember the gift of his brief stay, and think how the simplicity of that one meal spoke volumes about who he was…and all that he asked them to be.

And they would be grateful.

Meanwhile,

at a nearby palace, two of the most powerful rulers in the world gathered for a decadent feast.

There was more food on that table than they could possibly eat in a single sitting; more than many would see in weeks. In a lifetime.

Servants hovered nervously, wondering if they should begin clearing, or serve another round of everything. They waited

until it was time for dessert. And they brought out a cake. A chocolate cake. A beautiful, rich chocolate cake. And they watched, as the two emperors cut this cake together, raised their forks as though it was an offering

from the masses straight to their own mouths

a living sacrifice on the table between them.

And as that sweet monument dwindled to crumbs, one of them leaned into the other’s ear

so close it looked like a kiss on the cheek. We strike tonight, he said, in hushed and reverent tones. Almost like a prayer

In awe of the sound, the power of his own whispered breath.  How does that sound to you? And isn’t that cake delicious?

Fine, the other one said, after a pause to swallow and savor. That sounds just fine.

And the two counted their piles of silver between them, and went on their way.

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