The Scripture ~ “A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another, just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34).
The Spiritual Focus ~ “With the first mouthful, I practice joy. With the second mouthful, I practice the love that releases suffering.” Thich Nhat Hanh
The Breath Prayer ~ Agape
The Devotion ~ The drama of Holy Week takes us on a roller coaster ride of emotions. On Palm Sunday Jesus enters Jerusalem to cheers and hosannas and by the end of the week he is hanging on a tree between two criminals. Now, we know the story doesn’t end that way but let’s resist the urge to bypass the suffering, rushing to the surprise of Easter morning, and sit for a moment at the table of Jesus’ love feast.
Early Christians adopted a practice called an agape meal or love feast. The origin of the love feast is Jesus’ last passover supper with his disciples when he washed their feet, commanded them to love one another and to remember him every time they broke bread. The love feast of the young Christian community is described in Acts 2:46,“Continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.” Gathering around the table was a time to kick off your sandals, eat and enjoy each other’s company, remembering the One who loved them. The practice of the agape meal continued until the mid-3rd century when the Eucharist and agape meal went their separate ways, and eventually the agape meal ceased to exist, at least officially.
Gathering around the table provides a place to practice loving like Jesus loved, and structured around eating gives us the space we need to be present and experience the Presence. It is not always a joyful experience—even Jesus had Judas at the table—but it is a place of community. It is the kind of community that the early church recognized as necessary to sustain one another in the healing mission of Jesus.
Table pose and cat/cow are among the first poses we learn to love. We connect the breath with the movement, we open our hearts in joy. As we come to our hands and knees in table pose, let us be mindful that we are invited to the agape meal, the love feast of Jesus.

© 2019 Yogadevotion | Made with love.
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