The Last Song

After the supper was over and the table had been cleared away
When the last bottle was empty, there was nothing much left to say
Jesus started humming an old tune, everybody fell right in
They sang the last song, the last song

Matthew started singing the low part, John grabbed the high harmony
Their voices filled up the night air all the way to Gethsemane
Judas walked some distance behind them like he had forgotten the words
They sang the last song, the last song

Just before they got to the garden
Just before they all fell asleep
Just before Barabbas was pardoned
And Jesus was nailed to a tree

I reckon it was some kind of soul song, maybe kind of sad and slow
All about how we get weary, all about holding on
Only Jesus knew what was coming, still he never said a thing
He sang the last song, the last song

He could have made a toast to the good times and only the best for his friends
He could have stayed up late reminiscing about the long strange trip it had been
But he went just like a lamb to the slaughter knowing it was part of the plan
And sang the last song, the last song

This song by Kate Campbell was the final hymn at the Maundy Thursday service at St. Mary’s for most of the years I served there. Our wonderful music director, Celeste, sang it to conclude the service. Hearing it takes me to a holy place.

Tonight is Maundy Thursday and for the first time in over thirty years I am not in church.

This morning, as is our custom each week day morning while working from home, the Mission Amp team gathered by Zoom to pray. One of our team members had created a beautiful Holy Thursday liturgy that left my eyes full of tears. I had had good worship.

So tonight I walked my neighborhood labyrinth. The park had yellow caution tape wrapping the playground with a warning sign about staying six feet apart.

As I walked in prayer I listened to the song that represents Maundy Thursday to me more than any other. The Last Song. Phrases like

Judas walked some distance behind them like he had forgotten the words.


All about how we get weary.
All about holding on

punctuated my steps.

I realized as I walked the labyrinth tonight how the dirt and gravel were coming through my shoes. My feet will need to be washed tonight.

But first I’ll stop on the way home by a friend’s house that is having a rough time. I’ll stand in her driveway and have a chat. I’ll wash her feet by way of listening and presence. Our own kind of Maundy Thursday liturgy.

Because our lives are the liturgy in this time of Church in the world. I think Jesus is pleased at the song our lives are singing.

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