If you are somewhere in the world which follows the Western church calendar, then today is Maundy Thursday! Maundy : The day before the much more celebrated Good Friday, the last day of the working week, the day we can't wait to get through in order to finally reach the holiday weekend!
Traditionally, Maundy celebrated the last Supper that Jesus enjoyed with his disciples. In some circles it carries other names, my favourite, 'Thursday of Mysteries.'It sounds like a day spent watching back to back Scooby Doo cartoons!
The word Maundy, an evolved Anglicisation of the old French Mande - Command. 'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you' John 13.34
Saying these words, Jesus, the leader and champion, took a towel and began to wash the feet of his friends and his betrayer. What a shocking and uncomfortable way to demonstrate your love as service. Bending, humbling, assuming the position and role of a servant. A lowly servant at that, one who would go unnoticed, unthanked for his practical work.
That the Messiah who was welcomed and heralded into Jerusalem should stoop so low to conquer; That he should act out his commandment to love, not with words alone, but with actions; This is the greatest mystery of Maundy.
The mystery of a whole new kind of love: The servant leadership of footwashing about to be played out on the greatest stage in history within 24 hours. On a bleak hillside above Jerusalem, the one to whom John the Baptist said 'I'm not even worthy to tie your shoes', now not only bends to wash dirty feet, but gives his own dirty, battered and abused body, his very life.
The mystery of Maundy is the mystery of the grand drama at the beating heart of the gospel of love. The incomprehensible passion of a Saviour, giving himself up for the unworthy, the unrepentant, even the unaware.
In the rush to an Easter weekend - Don't miss these Maundy mysteries!