I love my family. I love my dog. I love my neighbors. I love my church family. The question that Christ is calling us to consider is might we love the other with the same intensity and commitment? Can I love those who think differently than I do? Can I love those who have stolen from me? Can I love those who annoy me? When Christ calls us to wash one another’s feet, we believe it to be those we are in community with and like. After all, Jesus washed the feet of his friends. However, when we look at the totality of Christ’s ministry, it is a call to something much more audacious and even scary. He loved the lost, the lonely, the desperate, the angry, and the violent. He loved the sinners on the cross next to him. He loved the soldiers who arrested him and brought him to his death. He loved those who denied him and hid from him. This Maundy Thursday, as we eat the bread and juice and are filled in our stomachs, our hearts are being tempted to be filled so much to love beyond our circles to a world in desperate need.
See you tonight at 7pm.
Maundy Thursday is an alternate name for Holy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, which means “commandment.” As recorded in John’s gospel, on his last night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34). This is why services on this night generally include the washing of feet or other acts of physical care as an integral part of the celebration.
While John’s gospel does not record the institution of the Lord’s Supper among the events of this night, the other gospels do. Christians therefore keep this night with celebrations both at the basin (foot washing) and at the Lord’s Table (Holy Communion).