Today is Maundy Thursday. A Thursday I didn’t know existed until college. As I’ve written before, I am late to the game on the Christian calendar. Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving? Got it. Everything else? I’m learning. Though not true for all Baptist’s, I assume – for most of us – “Maundy Thursday” causes a bit of confusion. (I do know Thanksgiving is not a Christian calendar thing, btw.)
Thursday of Holy Week (the week between Palm Sunday and Easter) is the day we remember Jesus observing the Last Supper with His disciples. He washed their feet. He broke bread. He served wine. He even served His betrayer, Judas. The reason we call it “Maundy” Thursday is due to the Latin language. “Maundy” is derived from the Latin word “Mandate.” Another word for “Mandate” is “Command.” What does that have to do with anything? In the Upper Room, with His disciples, while washing feet and serving bread and wine – Jesus gave them a new “Maundy.” A new mandate. A new command. Thursday of Holy Week, Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” On Thursday, Jesus gave a new “Maundy.” Therefore, we call this day “Maundy Thursday.”
I love this. Though still a bit awkward to say and weird to hear on my Baptist ears, it is beautiful. It is a reminder of why Jesus did what He did. Love. Love compelled Him to wash feet. Love compelled Him to serve the one who would cut Him off in a few hours. Love compelled Him to endure the wrath of the cross. And this love that we experience, now compels us to love each other the same way. Maundy Thursday is another invitation into relationship with one another. To unconditionally love one another. To welcome those who have cut us off. To enjoy friendship. To embrace being a part of a family. The Gospel frees us to enjoy the love of God, and sends us – without any strings attached – to love those God has put in our lives.
I encourage you to reflect on and ponder that first Maundy Thursday. You can read about it here, here, here, and here. And I invite you to join us for a drive-thru Lord’s Supper on this Maundy Thursday, tonight – between 5 and 7 PM here in the church parking lot.
Until then, who needs to know you love them today? It’s called “Maundy Thursday,” not “Suggestion Thursday.” Jesus didn’t suggest it as a good idea. It is a new command. Perhaps you need to start with letting Jesus love you.
See you tonight.