I've lived over a half a century and I'll admit until today I had no idea what maundy meant.  I'd heard the term Maundy Thursday before, but I'd never taken the time to find out what it meant.

I knew that Maundy Thursday better as Holy Thursday.  The Thursday before Easter when Jesus "celebrated" (hardly a celebration in my book) Passover with his disciples.  He knew it was to be his last meal with them.  (So it makes sense to me that communion; a "reenactment" if you will of this meal is also called the Last Supper.)  Jesus washed their feet (From John 13:  When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  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.)  The Passover meal was shared. (From Matthew 26:   While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”  Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.)  As they finished, according to the book of John, Jesus said:  My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.  “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.”

What does this have to do with Maundy?  The dictionary tells me that the word is derived from the Latin:  mandātum which means command or mandate.  Now it starts to make a little more sense:  Maundy = mandate.  During the last supper, Jesus gave a new commandment: Love one another.  He demonstrated this even before he said it by washing their feet; by serving his friends out of love.  

Isn't service best done when it is done out of love?  Isn't the best meal provided with love by a mother, father or cherished friend or relative?  Don't we help one another because of our love for one another?  Shouldn't we show our love for ALL human kind by serving?

During Lent, I have been receiving daily (except for Sunday) Lenten emails from an organization called LEAD.  These reminders have helped me stay focused during this Lent.  They remind me of my daily blessings.  I NEED to be reminded that I am blessed.  It is much too easy to forget all of the good in life and just complain.  

Today's reminder in part said:  "In church today we will talk about Jesus eating and drinking with his friends –then, after dinner, blessing the cup. I will ask God’s blessing on all who drink from any kind of cup today."  On this Maundy Thursday, how can I follow the mandate to love one another?  Should I show my love by buying a friend a meal?  (It just so happens that a group of work friends are going out to lunch to celebrate a birthday. What a perfect way to show our love for this person.)  Should I show my love by leaving a donation in our church's food box?  (Many groceries are giving away free boxes of matzo with minimal purchases.)  Should I just call a friend that I haven't spoken to in a long time and let them know that I love them?  Any (and all) of these are simple ways of living the commandment that Jesus gave on this Holy Thursday.

Today LIVE the mandate Christ has given.  Love one another; serve one another with love. 


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