Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Two Cups

I came across this passage a few months back working through The Cross Centered Life and have been meaning to post on it ever since.

Mark 14:36 "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."

Most of us are familiar with this passage and it's context as Jesus prays in Gethsemane just prior to his crucifixion. Metaphorically speaking, there's a sense in which the "cup" could refer to the whole process that Jesus knows he will be undergoing in the next 24 hours. Theologically speaking, I think it's even more likely that the cup he's referring to is the cup of God's wrath that Jeremiah speaks of:

Jeremiah 25:15 This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: "Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.

It's even more powerful if you read it in context. Either way though, most of us are familiar with Jesus' prayer regarding the cup. Did you remember that he also spoke of another cup? Mark certainly did, in fact it seems to have been on his mind as he composed his Gospel account:

Mark 14:23-24 Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many," he said to them.

Just about 10 verses previous, Mark records Jesus' words about the cup that we get to drink (notice, the text doesn't actually say Jesus drank this one, for what it's worth). And beyond Marks literary/compositional rhetoric, temporally speaking, only a few hours elapsed between these two events, so I dare say it was on Jesus' mind too. He drinks the cup of God's wrath so that we might drink the cup of God's blessing. Interestingly enough Jeremiah also speaks of the New Covenant. Was Jesus meditating on Jeremiah on the night of his betrayal? I can't say, but WOW...what an exchange. Perhaps there's a dissertation on intertextuality in there somewhere, but more importantly it's had some serious impact on my communion meditations in recent days.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Presenting Academic Papers

For any interested in presenting academic papers in the near or distant future, I thought this might be a helpful link to catalogue.