Maundy Thursday; it’s not a tradition that our church acknowledges in service. It’s not even one that I hear mentioned too much in our neck of the woods. But through today’s Christian news events, it appears that multiple churches do hold Maundy Thursday events. The word “maundy” comes from a Latin word: mandatum. And mandatum means “mandate” or a “commandment”. On the eve before Christ’s crucifixion, Christ gave a new mandate to His followers as they gathered in for the last supper. My heart breaks when I think back about the “last suppers” I’ve had with a few friends. If I had known that it was going to be my “last supper” with them I’d have hung on their every word, but I didn’t know.
The wonderful thing about the Word of God, is that we do have the Words that Christ spoke during this special time with His friends. His heart was heavy, He’d been betrayed and yet in the midst of that horrific time for Him He gathered those who He had grown so close to and gave them a new mandate, or a new commandment as it were.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Judas had left the building. It was now just Jesus and His faithful friends. Not perfect by any means, after all they too would leave Him when the going got rough the next day. But this day He needed them to understand what would be key to the mission He was leaving them to; that they love one another. He did not give them a long dissertation or a bullet point list of things they needed to check off to make sure the church as run correctly… as does the church of today. He said, “just love people.” If we did that, our churches would run correctly.
If we didn’t look on the outward appearance of man, if we didn’t look at their past sins “again”, if we just loved them, our services would be much different. Because in loving one another, all the Spirit squelching things would not be there and a service like “Maundy Thursday” would have the saints of God shoutin’ in the isles and glorifying God, not looking down the isle, and judging men.
Love one another. What an awesome idea. Let’s do it!