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cappie

Holy Thursday

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cappie

It had been a busy week. Jesus and the disciples finally make it to Jerusalem  and not a moment too soon. The city was crowded! It was the week of the Passover celebration and it seemed as though every man, woman, and child for a hundred miles was in the city of Jerusalem. People were everywhere. Every shop, tavern, and stall had a line of people just waiting to get in.   Luckily, the disciples had a place to stay Jesus had seen to that. He seemed to have friends just about everywhere and there was a big room to celebrate the Passover feast together above the store of an oil merchant from Jericho, whose brother Jesus had healed.

So tonight, they are in the upper room with Jesus, sharing the Passover meal. A mixture of nostalgia and fear as they tell the ancient stories of redemption and salvation. In the middle of the meal, Jesus takes up the servant’s towel and basin and starts to wash feet. They had eaten Passover with Jesus before, but somehow this one seems oddly different. Why is he suddenly wanting to wash feet? Something must be wrong. This isn’t how things are supposed to be. Washing feet is a servant’s job, not a job for our master and teacher.

After all the walking that had been done that day, we can imagine their feet are tired and sore and now Jesus wants to wash them like a common servant?

After he washed their feet, they were silent. A heaviness filled the air, they didn’t know what to do.

 Jesus starts speaking. “Where I am going, you cannot come. 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.”

 Lightbulb moment. That is what all of this had been about. All the preaching, teaching, feeding. It’s about love. It’s all about love. It’s about how we love God, love our neighbours, and love ourselves. His washing  feet, his sharing the Passover meal, his outrageous behaviour all along was to show  what love looks like. Traveling with Jesus for so long, the disciples  can sometimes forget that his message is about loving deeply, truly, and earnestly. All of what we had done and seen in following Jesus suddenly made sense in this one moment at supper.

On this night, the night before he died, Jesus reminds us again that our commission, our call, our command, is to be a people of love. 

Too often, we as the Church can, like Simon Peter, get so caught up in being the Church, in worrying about our worship, our ministries, our mission, that we lose sight of Jesus’ command to love one another.

Loving one another is perhaps the most difficult of commands. It means that we have to first learn to love ourselves—see ourselves as worthy of accepting, giving, and sharing love. 

Jesus not only spoke kind words and did great deeds— he comforted and healed and gave hope for a brighter future. He embodied love. 

We are called to do the same. Our world cries out to see the face of Jesus, to walk the way of love, to experience a church that not only preaches love—but demonstrates love. 

Singer and songwriter Tina Turner famously asked, “What’s love got to do with it?” For we who would follow Jesus, the answer is simple: everything! 

Our inability to live what we preach about love would remove Christ from our Christianity. If we as the Church are to be relevant or meaningful in our world, we must rediscover that hope-filled love that enflamed Jesus’ first followers and inspired a movement that changed the world. Our challenge is to be a people of love, to live the words we pray and sing a faith that loves.
 

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Gary david

  Well that is a very well said and blessed statement worthy of deep reflection. I have been saying words such as these for a long time. As you said, that "lightbulb moment". Thats the moment people dont seem to not understand or dont want to, because if they did live these words, then they would have to change their lives. The words Jesus lived and said were not complicated. It is people that complicate things seemingly to make excuses for not living those words. Well thats how it seems anyway. I really dont know why, only God does.

  That was kind of you to have written those words.

God bless....

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