As I write this it is the day after Psalm Sunday and the second day of what the Church calls Holy Week, ending with the Saturday before Easter.
During this week the Church has condensed the final days of Jesus’ life into 7 days, providing various services to commemorate certain events as they unfold.
In probably most of our United Church of Christ congregations, services on Thursday and Friday are celebrated.
Holy Thursday is also often called Maundy Thursday. The word Maundy being taken from the Latin “Mandatum”, meaning commandment, referring to the new “commandment” Jesus gave you, his disciples, to “Love one another, even as I have loved you.”
In John’s Gospel, Jesus said these words to his disciples after they had eaten what was to be their last Passover meal together. After, Jesus had washed the feet of his disciples in an ultimate display of his servant hood.
As Jesus served them, they were to serve him by serving all humanity; putting their egos aside in acts of humility, love and passionate service which he symbolized by foot washing.
In our church, Holy Thursday is celebrated by remembering and re-enacting Jesus last meal in Holy Communion and by remembering highlights of the rest of Jesus’ last week in a tenebrae (Latin for darkness) service where lighted candles are extinguished with each reading leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion.
For those who attend, it is a visually moving service that sadly we will not be able to participate in this year due to the Coronavirus.
So instead, on Thursday night, allow yourself to go into that upper room where Jesus gathered with his disciples for the celebration of their Passover meal.
Become one of Jesus disciples and feed on the food and drink and words he offers.
Then, let Jesus wash your feet too and hear him say, “Love one another, as I loved you.”
When you do you will truly will make Thursday holy. God bless you.