The Tenant of the Downstairs Room

For Holy Week a series of meditations written as if by some of the characters who would have been involved in the story, even if not named.

Fourthly, while the Last Supper was taking place upstairs, what of the couple who lived downstairs….

Mark14; 12 – 26

13    He sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”

17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”20 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him.”

22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

23 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave 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. 25 “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Ahhh, peace at last! Thank goodness they have all gone, now perhaps we can enjoy a nice quiet Passover without all that racket upstairs.

Bad enough when they tied up that donkey outside here the other day, what with it braying for its mother, then when the owner showed up for a while there he was accusing me of nicking it. All for getting the Romans involved, until I managed to get a word in edge-ways and tell him it was those weirdos from Galilee (I wonder are all Galileans wierdos or are all wierdos Galilean? ). But I just mention it was them, and donkey man’s attitude changes; “Oh that’s OK then, sorry to bother you,  do you know if they still want it?” as I pointed out to ‘How would I know?’ – but not quite so politely!

Never been the same here since Mark started following that lot around.  Can’t really blame him, he’s just a kid, but his Mother should know better.  Why she goes so far out of her way for them I’ll never know, getting them food, putting them up when they are in town. That room of hers is fine for her and Mark but not thirteen ruffians from Galilee! Used to be nice and quiet round here, never saw anybody, never heard anybody, nobody bothered us and we didn’t bother anybody. Now its like the Temple courtyard on Sabbat. Mind you, apparently one of them caused a near riot there the other day, tipping over tables, letting loose the pigeons and lambs, throwing money off the counting tables all over the place, then they all come back here for tea with mob in tow.  My Lillias was scared stiff till they cleared off into the country for the night.

Thought that was bad enough until tonight; all those comings and goings, singing Psalms, laughing, shouting.  Pretty sure I heard someone crying at one point. They all turned up about sunset clumping about, dragging furniture all over the place, I was sure the ceiling was going to give way. Mark’s mum cooking away, banging pots and pans. Their leader started washing their feet (told you they were weirdos) splashing water all over, and it came through the floor boards – these aren’t palaces you know – they could show some consideration for others! Even that started another row – the one with loud voice demanding that he do the washing. For goodness sake that’s the “Lowest of the Low’s” job; no need to argue about who will do it, usually you argue not to do it. Thought it might calm down once they started eating, but no, of course not, country bumpkins never heard of eating in silence. Telling stories, swapping jokes, poking fun at one another. We could hear it all though the floorboards. On and on it went.

Then it went quiet when their leader said something about being betrayed. Then you could have heard a pin drop. Great, quiet now, we thought,… but no, they were off again; “Not me”, “It’s him isn’t it”, “Tell us who”, all of them shouting at once, some of them very angry, some of them downright insulted but all of them noisy.

A door slammed and one of them ran down the outside stairs.  I looked out to see who it was, but he was moving like greased lightning, pulling his cloak over his head. One of them upstairs was all for chasing him, but the Leader just said sit down and let him do his work. Not sure what the work is but it was an awful lot quieter after he left.

The Leader then spoke for a long time very quietly, so for once it was difficult to hear, but something about leaving them to go back to his Dad’s place, then asking them to remember him. Perhaps he is going back home.

Good, we can get back to normal then.

Then all of sudden they are on the move. The whole lot of them tramping off down the stairs saying something about going to the Garden of Gethsemane, although why they would want to go there at this time of night is anyone’s guess. But what do I care. They are gone, its quiet and I don’t suppose after what he was saying we will ever hear of them again. Good job too.

Oh look! There goes Mark, running after them. ‘Oi, Mark do your belt up, that gown does not look very secure’.

Coming Lillias? Let’s get to bed, nothing is going to happen now.


Lord God, our loving Father in Heaven, it is too easy for us to be bystanders, to think only of ourselves.  Help us to be aware of others around us, what they are suffering – and yes, what they are enjoying – to seek to help when we can, and not be a hindrance when we cannot help.

May we, at this time, share in the joy of the supper, the loneliness of Gethsemene, and the Fear of Pilate’s room, so that we may too share in the glory of Easter morn.

In your Mercy hear our prayer,