Skip to main content

Maundy Thursday

Remember how you felt as a child on Christmas Eve?  Did your heart swell with anticipation of what you were about to experience?  Was your mouth salivating for the traditional foods that would be shared around your Christmas table?  Thursday was the most important Feast in the life of the Jewish people.  Hoards of people flooded into Jerusalem to experience Passover in the way it was meant to be celebrated by bringing their flawless lamb to the Temple sacrifice.  Jesus’ family traveled from Nazareth to Jerusalem every Passover when He was a child.
This Passover would be quite different.  The sense of its importance could be recognized in the directions Jesus gave to His disciples for getting it prepared.  A particular Upper Room had been chosen for this event and God was already working on the hearts of the family who would offer it to Christ and His disciples.  Jesus began this most traditional meal in a most uncustomary way.  To show the disciples and us that we are to be servants first and foremost, He took on the role of the lowliest servant and washed the disciples’ feet.  Judas was revealed at the betrayer that night (this troubled Jesus).  Peter’s denial was prophesied and Jesus taught about the Holy Spirit who would now be able to come to us after He went away.  He prayed the great High Priestly Prayer recorded in John 17.  On this special night He gave us the Holy Eucharist and exhorted us to practice this sacrament of our New Covenant regularly.  They sang the hymns of the great Psalter and walked together from that Holy Room.  There were only twelve of them now and Jesus led them to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus urged them to pray for themselves, but they slept.  He prayed the prayer that caused Him to sweat drops of blood.  While the disciples slept, Jesus was transformed by this time of prayer and the ministry of the angels sent to help Him.  He rose up from that prayer not just willing, but eager to go to the cross for us.  Judas led the mob of Jewish authorities and betrayed Jesus with a kiss.  Jesus was arrested after He insured the release of His disciples and fixed Peter’s blunder by healing the servant’s ear. 
Have you learned the lessons of Maundy Thursday?  Whose feet do you wash?  Do you stay awake in prayer?  Do you anticipate the celebration of the Holy Eucharist?
(Matthew 26:17-46; Mark 14:12-42; Luke 22:7-46; John 13-17)


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Moving Forward

It’s been half a decade since my husband of 27.5 years died suddenly of a brain bleed.  My life turned upside down that weekend, and nothing will ever be the same.  Someone commented to me that I had moved-on.  It was meant to be a compliment, and I totally get the affirmation that was intended.  The truth is I have not moved-on, nor do I ever expect that I will.  I love this quote sent to me in a sympathy card and have shared it over and over with others.  St Bernard of Clairvaux wrote: I can never lose one whom I have loved unto the end; one to whom my soul cleaves so firmly that it can never be separated does not go away but only goes before.               Grief should have a beginning, middle and end; that is true.  That first year or two I would have done anything to diminish my pain.  I was in so much pain that I wasn’t even a person.  It’s hard to believe that we humans will naturally grow more comfortable existing in our pit of despair of grief than to let it go…

Thank You Dad

Recently I have been contemplating why it is ingrained in me that I must be quiet and respectful and look at the flag when the national anthem is played.  It’s as natural for me as standing for the Hallelujah Chorus during Handel’s Messiah or for the Bride when she walks through the back door.  Like a Pavlov dog, my instincts go into action, and I do not even think about my somewhat conditioned response. Why?  It was definitely my own father who had the most influence over me regarding the national anthem.  I am not a sports enthusiast.  However, from a young age I found myself at sports games because my older brother played every sport offered.  Our family faithfully attended those games, which normally started with the national anthem.  I found a way to enjoy the otherwise agonizing experience of being held prisoner to my brother’s sporting events by gravitating to my friends who were there under duress as well.  We made up games of our own; we would laugh and talk throughout the q…

Traveling Through

I am writing this week’s Tea Time devotion from the airport in Houston, Texas.  When I set out my travel plans months earlier, I never expected to use the Houston International airport at all.  I’ve been here two times in the last three days, and the last time it was for about six hours due to weather at my destination!  In fact, for the last four days I have been traveling back and forth from two different Central American countries, and only one of my four days of flying proceeded as planned.  I’ve had a lot of time to ponder airline practices; and I can come up with a multitude of suggestions for what they could do better, but that is not my job.  The long, strenuous, and unexpected travel has driven home the instructions Peter gives to Christians in his two letters:But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;for it is written: Be holy, because I am holy. (1 Peter 1:15-16) So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every ef…