Maundy Thursday


Today is the time to remember the last meal that Jesus shared with his friends on the night before he died, the night he was betrayed by a friend and arrested. During the meal Jesus took bread and wine, gave thanks, broke the bread and shared it. He asked his followers to remember him every time they did the same. St Paul describes it like this:
"...the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body that is for you.' In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.' For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." 1 Corinthians 11: 23 - 26 (NRSV)
Perhaps that is the most obeyed commandment of Jesus. Much harder to obey is the 'new commandment' he gave to his friends that same night:
"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" John 13: 34 - 35 NRSV
To obey that commandment fully requires immeasurable resources, sourced only in the love of God and today we also remember that it is God kneeling and washing our dirty feet. There is much else to ponder today. Do take a look at Malcolm Guite's sonnet for Maundy Thursday, from his book 'Sounding the Seasons'. I reproduce it in full below. You can hear it read by going to his blog post for today Holy Week: Maundy Thursday. There are some good pictures there too. 
Maundy Thursday
Here is the source of every sacrament,
The all-transforming presence of the Lord,
Replenishing our every element
Remaking us in his creative Word.
For here the earth herself gives bread and wine,
The air delights to bear his Spirit’s speech,
The fire dances where the candles shine,
The waters cleanse us with His gentle touch.
And here He shows the full extent of love
To us whose love is always incomplete,
In vain we search the heavens high above,
The God of love is kneeling at our feet.
Though we betray Him, though it is the night.
He meets us here and loves us into light.

Image Credit: Commons. Wikimedia

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