So it begins...
"On this day around the world Christians remember that tense, sensitive time Jesus spent with his disciples in the upper room and the last supper he shared with them. Many refer to this day as "Maundy Thursday."
The word "Maundy" comes from the Latin word for commandment (mandatum), which Jesus talked about when he told his disciples that he was leaving them "a new commandment," that they "love one another." (Read more from Bible Gateway.)
Maundy Thursday is the day our celebration of Communion comes from. We serve the bread and cup to one another in worship Sundays every week to remember His gift and sacrifice as He first did on this day in the upper room.
But there's more to Maundy Thursday than being the first demonstration of Christian Communion. At this same meal, Jesus undressed, wrapped a towel around his waist and began washing His followers feet. One by one, around their table, he washed all their dirty feet off in a basin of water.
Imagine that! Here's a modern metaphor: you are called to an important meeting with your boss, the founder of your company. You don't understand what is going on at the company. You changed your whole life to work for it because you believe in it - but now you suspect there's trouble. Your boss has mentored you and frankly, you can't imagine ever working for a better leader. When you arrive at the corporate gathering, all the department heads are there. Your boss stands up, takes off their suit, puts on a bathrobe and says you have to get a foot massage from them. You're tired from traveling, you are nervous and anxious over the situation, and a foot massage would be great in another setting. But your boss on their knees touching your feet? That's crazy.
But Jesus did just that. His Disciples were as uncomfortable as you would be. And he did it because as He described, 'He did not come to be served but to serve.' This is possibly the most important and definitive lesson in Christianity. It defines our posture towards the world. And illustrates what Jesus himself meant when He commanded that we "love one another."
"Do you know what I've done for you? You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and you speak correctly, because I am. If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other's feet. I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do. I assure you, servants aren't greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them." -Jesus in John 13:12-16
Now here's the hard reality. Christians have a very hard time being the servants RATHER the ones being served. Churches often look like a different - more human - kind of hierarchy and believers often use the exact opposite language and thinking from Jesus. Our comfort as believers is often the most important thing to us - and our church experience centers around how we are being served - rather than how we are serving one another. Our humanity just keeps creeping in, while Jesus' divinity - His example - His mandate - keeps getting pushed aside.
So do a gut check today on our remembrance of His great servanthood. As a believer, are you taking? Or are you giving away? Is your concern about your own comfort, desires, and tastes? Whose feet (metaphorically) are you washing?
Pray and reflect on this today. If you are able, celebrate Communion tonight... as a family, alone, or with friends. Read Matthew 26:17-30
Watch for our Good Friday devotional tomorrow.
See you Sunday at 10 as we celebrate EASTER!!!
Compiled online devotionals for Lent, the 40 day season leading up to Easter