Love in Action
by Betty Ruth Fox
John 13: 2-5 “And during supper 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4got up from the table,* took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.”
Maundy Thursday offers an amazing opportunity to experience a special evening with Jesus. In Christ’s time, foot washing was looked upon as the lowliest of services performed by the lowliest of the house. This Holy day celebrates Jesus’s washing the feet of his disciples while sharing their last supper together. The word “maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum which means commandment and refers to the commandment that Jesus gave his disciples during this meal: “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.” [John 13:34-35].
I began attending the Maundy Thursday service many years ago and have not missed one since. It always humbles me and brings me to tears. We begin in the Chapel and then proceed to the Parish Hall for an Agape Meal, a reenactment of the Last Supper. Agape –which means the love of God or Christ for humankind — is shown through the actions of Jesus before, during and after the Last Supper. Christ’s love for us has never been as clear for me than through this service. During the meal, everyone is silent. Following the meal, we return to the Chapel, for the stripping of the alter and the draping of black cloth on the cross.
The love of God and Jesus Christ for us cannot be explained in words. I think that is why this reenactment is so special. The scriptures all tell about love and acts of love –love regardless of our words or actions or their consequences. Imagine if we all loved one another as Jesus loves us. Imagine further if all of our actions were filled with that same kind of love.
Dear God, on this Holy Thursday please help us to feel the amazing love of Jesus Christ for us and please also help us to share His love through our actions and words.
Additional Scriptures: Psalm 116: 1-2, 10-17; Exodus 12: 1-14; 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26; John 13: 1-17; 31b -35