Maundy Thursday is an alternate name for Holy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, which means “commandment.”
As recorded in John’s gospel, on his last night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34). Would you be willing to wash the feet of someone you don’t necessarily get along with? Someone you disagree with politically or ethically?
While John’s gospel does not record the institution of the Lord’s Supper among the events of this night, the other gospels do. As the events of Holy Thursday took place during the Jewish Passover feast, Jesus reminds the disciples of their identity as God’s children with the breaking of the unleavened bread and sharing of the cup. When you share in communion, do you think about all the ways that God has remained faithful to you throughout your life? Does it sink in that when you eat of the bread and drink of the cup, that God is claiming you? Do you feel the joy of Christ’s call beyond the table as you are commissioned for Christ’s work in the world?
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