Maundy Thursday

by Pastor Mark
“[Jesus] came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’” (John 13:6-7, NIV)

Today is known as Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday. The word, maundy, is derived from the Old English for the Latin word meaning, commandment, as Jesus washed his disciples feet and then instituted Holy Communion telling his followers to do those things in his memory. This happened as Jesus and his disciples gathered for their celebration of the Passover, commemorating God’s deliverance of Israel from slavery in Egypt. Jesus changed the story in his Last Supper, indicating that he was about to lead another exodus of sorts, liberating all of God’s children from slavery to sin and death. 

Today’s passage tells us that from the washing of feet to the new meaning Jesus was giving the meal, the disciples didn’t understand what was happening. Jesus was setting into motion the outward and visible signs of the inward grace he had been teaching about during their time together. Jesus was showing that sacrifice and service is what matters in life. This is spelled out specifically as Jesus said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (John 13:14-17).

The idea of living a life of sacrificial service boils down to one word: love. Yes, Jesus gave us two profound things to do in service for others on Holy, or Maundy, Thursday — to wash others feet and share in Holy Communion remembering Jesus last supper — but his true last commandment came with the word to love. We read Jesus’ words as he said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35). May we follow Jesus’ example for loving and sacrificial service when we show love for others. May love be the orientation for your life. 

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your example of sacrificial service through your son, and my savior, Jesus. Help me to make love the orientation of my life so I may show all I am your disciple by how I love and serve others. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen. 
Show love today,
Pastor Mark