So much happens in the celebration of Maundy Thursday, I really wish we had a couple of weeks to commemorate it. Yet, it remains one of the least-attended worship services of the year in many congregations. In some sense, I can understand this: The name is funny, it is on an “off” day of the week, and much of the theme is unpleasant. Yet it is a day of such promise and hope!
Betrayal – Jesus acknowledges the impending betrayal of Judas. He knows it is happening. Yet, he continues to abide with his disciples, and even more, he serves them and makes them a beautiful promise.
Service – Both in loving care for his disciples, and giving them an example of how to live, Jesus washes their feet. At least one of them balks at the blessing. But, Jesus makes it clear: This is part of following him – serving others in ways that make us both vulnerable and uncomfortable. In doing so, they (and we!) take part in the great promise unveiled that evening.
Promise – After exemplifying life-fully-lived, Jesus makes a profound promise: He shares bread and wine, letting his disciples know that whenever they share in the same way, he will truly be with them. This promise of nourishment, Divine presence, and overflowing grace truly sets the stage for the next few days. Without this promise, it is hard to see how anyone who loved (or loves!) him could make it through the following day.
Read about Palm Sunday
Read about Good Friday
Read about Easter
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