Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lent XXXXIV.....Maundy Thursday

It was almost twenty-four years ago that I went to her church as pastor.  One of the worship experiences shared in those years was Maundy Thursday.  I was learning how to lead such a service and she and others in the congregation were sharing it for the first time.  Today as we met and talked, she immediately said that it was Maundy Thursday.  From that comment she went on to witness to the value and meaning this single service had been for her through the years of her life. 
It is not hard to figure.  It is a day which has a built-in worship agenda guaranteed to bless those who participate and please Jesus when we share in it.  After all, His command was to "do this in remembrance of me."  It is also a worship experience entered into with intentionality.  On Sunday morning we may show up for a variety for reasons, but those who show us for this annual Table moment do so out of intentionality.  Going to a worship moment on Thursday evening is different than going on Sunday morning.  It is a worship service driven by desire.  Those who show up come not because of habit, but because of a desire to worship on this special day of the year.  As does no other day, it brings to our consciousness what Christ has done for us as He chose to go to the cross for our sakes.  If it is possible to enter into a moment of supreme grace, surely Maundy Thursday brings us to such a place.
There is no week like this week.  And there are  no days like these days of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  Those who pause at the Table and kneel at the cross are much more likely to be able to raise their hands and hearts in praise that Jesus is risen come Easter morning.  Today's moments with Jesus remind us as we go forward that what happened long ago was no sudden surprise, but a work of grace and mercy planned before the beginning of all creation.  Thanks be to God!

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