Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Can You Drink The Cup (1)

The first part of a short series from one of my favourite writers - Henry Nouwen:

Then, the mother of Zebedee's sons came with her sons to make a request of Jesus and bowed low; and he said to her, "What is it that you want?" She said to him, "Promise that these two sons of mine may sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your kingdom." Jesus answered, "You do not know what you're asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink? They replied, "We can." He said to them, "Very well, you shall drink my cup, but as for seats at my right hand and my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those whom they have been alloted by my Father." (Matthew 20:20-23)

Can you drink the cup? Can you empty it to the dregs? Can you taste all the sorrows and joys? Can you live your life to the full whatever it will bring? I realised these were our questions.

But why should we drink this cup? There is so much anguish, so much violence. Why should we drink this cup? Wouldn't it be a lot easier to live normal lives with a minimum of pain and a maximum of pleasure?

Drinking is much more than gulping down whatever happens to be in there. Drinking the cup of life involves holding, lifting and drinking. It is the full celebration of being human.