“Maundy Thursday”

This weeks meditation:  “Maundy Thursday”
Read: John 13:1-17

The word Maundy is used to refer to the Thursday before Easter when Jesus had the last supper with his disciples.  While there are many different definitions of this word many scholars agree that the English word comes from the Old French word mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”.)

Those words are spoken by Jesus in this 13th chapter of John when he explaind to the disciples the significance of his action of washing their feet.  In many modern traditions the Last Supper is celebrated but seldomly is the act of washing feet remembered.  In even fewer traditions is “Foot Washing” actually a part of their confession of faith as it is in the Mennonite Church.

Article 13 of our Confession of Faith says, “We believe that Jesus Christ calls us to serve one another in love as he did. Rather than seeking to lord it over others, we are called to follow the example of our Lord, who chose the role of a servant by washing his disciples’ feet.

Just before his death, Jesus stooped to wash the disciples’ feet and told them, “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” In this act, Jesus showed humility and servanthood, even laying down his life for those he loved. In washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus acted out a parable of his life unto death for them, and of the way his disciples are called to live in the world.

Believers who wash each other’s feet show that they share in the body of Christ.  They thus acknowledge their frequent need of cleansing, renew their willingness to let go of pride and worldly power, and offer their lives in humble service and sacrificial love.”

As we remember the Last Supper this week it would be good to remember this act of washing feet as well.  In today’s world we wear shoes and our roads are not near as dusty but the example given to us by Jesus still rings true.  Whose feet can you wash this week by showing them Christ’s love in a tangible way?

Make it personal:  Consider an act of service this week that will celebrate Jesus’ words, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”.  May the Life of Christ shine through our lives this week and the many weeks that lie ahead!

Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life

Arthur Mennonite Church