Empty Tea boxes for Maundy Thursday

Have you ever tried Twinings herbal tea? I’m not convinced their tea is the best, but their boxes surely are.

This morning, after lighting my violet candle for Holy Week, I reached into my dusk-colored blue box of “Winter Spice” teabags and removed the last one. Well, by April I guess I should be finished with winter-flavored tea, I thought. I moved toward the recycle bag with my impulse to flatten the light paperboard box—but then stopped short. Gosh, I love these tea boxes, I realized. Could I keep and use it for anything?

My family knows that this is not the first time I’ve considered this type of question. I’m one of those mother-teacher-preachers who is constantly on the lookout for re-purposing life’s discards for creative re-uses. Just ask them how many “junk drawers” we have…

But I have entered my fifties now, and I have learned to relinquish far more than I once felt I needed to hold onto, trusting more in Life to give me what is needed in the moment.

What makes this box so incredibly delightful? I wondered. Ah! It’s the gentle but sound paper clasps that give the box their shape and durability. Most tea boxes in my cupboard are crushed and tattered by the end of their lives. But not Twinings. Those Brits have come up with a dashingly fine box for their teas.

Open, close. Open, close. Why can’t I throw this away? This ingenious paper mechanism does create a pleasant sound and feel, but I do NOT need one more empty box in this house.

Wait! What if I chose to view it as an empty tomb?

What if every empty container I touch in my kitchen from now on became a symbol of promise fulfilled rather than just a reminder that I need to go buy MORE of something?

Could it be a touchstone of remembering that the cross-shaped lives we live of worshiping God, having faith in Christ, and following Jesus are always filled with the paradox of needing to trust the process of silence, darkness, emptying, waiting, and letting go in order to taste in a new way fullness, light, joy, abundance, and Presence Within?

As I sip my Winter Spice tea and eat my buttered brown toast I think of the juice and bread I will eat tonight at Maundy Thursday service with my faith community. Will eating the Eucharist just be another ritualized part of my Holy Week like planting seeds and making hot cross buns tomorrow?

Or will I ask Christ’s presence in me to be awakened to see what new thing might come to life? That wants to be re-awakened? To be re-committed to? Given time to really be birthed fully?

What thing might need to be Released?

Or Let Die once and for all?

May God be with us in compelling ways this Easter season of ritualizing the amazing grace of transformation on every level of creation.

And may we be blessed to find small joys in empty places.

2 comments on “Empty Tea boxes for Maundy Thursday

  1. Joy Barrett

    Thank you LeAnn; you are insightful and inspiring. Blessings and hugs!

    Sent from my iPad


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