Maundy Thursday

I went to my first Maundy Thursday service (that I remember) this year. I even played handbells on a beautiful piece. The  service was lovely and somber and moving and dark, as any service commemorating the night before Jesus died should be. After all the lovely music, after communion, after a message about foot-washing and being a servant, the pastors stripped the altar… black cloth of mourning was draped over a cross and over the tables. Then we left quietly, without the usual greeting and gab that comes with the end of service. I felt as though we were still “suspended,” waiting for a resolution.

Later on I got to thinking – what if I was to commemorate Maundy Thursday by reenacting it?

My buddies and I would follow a random stranger to a private room, where they would all argue. I would wash their feet. Then my best friend would leave the party to betray me. Then I would spend all night praying in a garden while my friends fell asleep instead of keeping me company. Then I would get arrested and go to jail…


Our pastor told us that “Maundy” comes from the Latin for “command” (In Spanish, “mandar”) as in John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Whether it’s footwashing…

or forgiving someone who betrays you…

or going the extra mile for someone you dislike…

Whatever it takes, we need to love one another. That’s his command to us.

That’s the best way to commemorate today.


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