Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Lenten Reflection #37: Mandate

It  is believed that on the Thursday before the first Easter morning Jesus gathered in a room with His closest friends and shared in a meal.  The event is recorded in the Gospels and we are told that at this meal Jesus holds the first communion service.  It is often refereed to as the Last Supper and has been depicted in famous artworks.  Tonight, many people will gather together and share in a meal of bread and drink from the cup and through the mystery of God participate in Lord's Supper and commune with God.  When they do this they will remember that meal that Jesus shared with his friends on the Thursday before Easter.

At that meal Jesus does some other important things.  He serves his friends.  He serves the ones that would soon dessert him and go into hiding.  He serves the one who will sell him out for a few pieces of silver.  He washes their feet.  He kneels down and takes there tired, achy, smelly, dirty  feet into his hands and he cleans them.  He shows them love and forgiveness by kneeling down and cleansing them. He then says,

"Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." John 13:14-17

He invites us, challenges us and  calls us to care for and serve one another.  To offer to one another the same love and grace. To forgive and serve like Him.

Then he gives us a mandate.  This Thursday before Easter has become known as Maundy Thursday and it is believed that the word maundy is derived from the word mandatum, where we get the word mandate.  A mandate is an official order to do something.

If we are not careful we can get mixed up on this day and just see it for eating this meal or ceremonial foot washing.  While these are good and important practices we must not forget that Jesus, on the night before he was going to give himself for us gave his followers, and us, an order to do something.  Yes, whenever we eat the bread and drink of the cup remember him.  Yes, serve each other and forgive each. Here is the why,

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Love today.  It is a mandate from Jesus.  By so doing others will know that we are his friends who gather with him share in a meal that is His body and His blood.  By our loving as he has loved us other will see and receive his grace, mercy and forgiveness.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

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