Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday

There are three days of Easter.  These are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, they are called the 'Triduum'.  They work together to tell the story of what Jesus Christ has done, and I firmly believe you need to get all three to get the full meaning of what Easter is all about.  To put it simply if you just show up on Easter Sunday when we are going "He is Risen, He is Risen, Indeed" you sort of short change yourself.

Maundy is from the Latin word 'Mandatum' which means Mandate or Commandment.  This is the day in John 13 when Jesus says, "A new commandment I give you, that you Love One Another". 

So Maundy Thursday - Commandment Thursday, is when Jesus tells us that we are to Love one another.  Realize that he tells us to Love One Another, and then he goes out and shows us what Love really looks like.  He tells us to Love One Another, and from there goes to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he knows he will be arrested - and where he knows the final path to suffering, beating, crucifixion and death will begin.  Love One Another, Jesus says, and then he shows us that he loves us so much that he would die to save us from our sins, and to open the door way for us to eternal life with God.  First he says it, then he does it.

Absolution of Sins:

You know that during Lent we retain the general absolution during our services.  It is on Mandy Thursday that we hear for the first time that "As a called and ordained minister of the Church of Christ and by his authority....".  That is because on Maundy Thursday we have begun the Easter cycle.  It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that our sins can be and are forgiven.  Therefore, it is traditional that on Maundy Thursday we hear our sins are forgiven.  They can be forgiven because of what Jesus has done.

Foot Washing:

Everybody knows that it is on Maundy Thursday that we wash feet - or more specifically the Pastor washes people's feet.  For many of you that is a weird thing and wonder why we do it.  The answer is, because Jesus told us to.  In John 13, Jesus says we are to wash each other's feet. 

Now in that Jesus is pointing us to the servant heart that he is calling us to.  We are to be people who help, who serve, who are not afraid to lower ourselves when others are in need.  If Jesus Christ can get down on his hands and knees and wash his disciples feet, we are all called to get down on our hands and knees and serve this world - following Jesus Christ. (OVER)

The thing is, On Maundy Thursday, Jesus is not being symbolic or metaphorical.  We are called not only to wash each other's feet, but to have our feet washed.

Many of you don't have your feet washed because it is uncomfortable.  I will again direct you to the scripture where Simon Peter argued with Jesus not to wash his feet - Jesus told him to stop talking and do it anyway.  If he isn't letting Peter off the hook he isn't letting us either.

The thing is - it may be uncomfortable to have our feet washed.  Because it is extremely humbling.  We are all independent people, we work hard for all we have, we don't want someone washing out feet.  Maybe we think, we aren't worthy of having someone wash our feet.  Maybe we think our feet stink and don't want to reveal our 'stinky-feetness'  :)

But the point is, when we come forward and have our feet washed - it reminds us that not only are we having our feet washed, but that Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords bowed down and washed the feet of his followers, and in his saving act of going to the cross and dying to save us - Jesus is essentially bending down and washing the feet of we who don't deserve it.

If it makes you uncomfortable, if it makes you feel unworthy - that is the whole point.  It is to remind us that we who are unworthy and we who don't deserve it - we get our feet washed to , we get what we need from Jesus Christ our savior.

Pastor's Confession:  I used to hate having my feet washed too.  When I first came here I was washing people's feet and got all the way through and was getting ready to put the bowl away, when Jim Hileman came up to me and said, "Oh no, you need to get your feet washed too".  Though I felt like Peter wanting to tell Jim, No Jim you don't need to do that.  I sat down and was humbled as this man washed my feet.  Jim held me to it until he had his stroke.  I thought I had gotten out of it.  Till my wife called me on it and she did it. 

 I invite you to try it.  Let you feet be washed, and let it be a sign to remind you of what Jesus Christ has done for us all.  He lowered himself in love, to serve us and save us.  He calls us to Love One Another, and understand that the love we have is only a reflection of the Love that our Savior has for us.

 

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