This is the first Maundy/Holy Thursday in over 20 year that I have not gathered with my congregation to remember Jesus’ last meal with his disciples before his betrayal and arrest, acts which led to his passion in a suffering death upon a cross.
The Gospel of John tells us that during the supper, Jesus arose from the table, tied a towel around himself, poured water in to a basin and went around the table washing his Disciples’ feet. It was an unprecedented act of humility for a Rabbi to be serving his Disciples in this way. When Jesus had finished and returned to the table, he asked his Disciples, “Do you know what I have done for you? I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
“Blessed if you do them”, but, often it is not so easy to do the things that bless. Like Judas, we sometimes want the things we want–just the way we want and expect them. We may not go as far as Judas did, and attempt to force another to do our will with a deadly betrayal. But, we do “step out of the kingdom” from time to time, preferring to go our own way, to do things our way. Once we are out and on our own, our thoughts, words and actions can come from sources outside the kingdom, as well. Perhaps over the past several weeks, we have taken a frustrated or anxious step or two outside the kingdom–it would be a pretty natural experience in these uncertain times.
Those very steps show us just how our human weakness betrays our human condition of sin–sin that is in need of grace. Jesus came to bring us that grace–grace in the form of forgiveness and the renewal of our very souls.
So, as we sit safely in the comfort of our homes this evening, we remember Jesus’ faithful obedience to God’s plan for our salvation. God so loves us that God did not think the life of Jesus was too great a price to pay for us and for our salvation. God believes in us, believes we are worth the cost of the sacrifice Jesus made for us. May we believe in us too!
I leave you with a thought that has been a meaningful blessing to me this week: We cannot possibly do all of the good the world needs; but, the world needs all of the good we can possibly do.
Blessed Maundy Thursday… O,O,O, O-sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble–were you there when they crucified my Lord?