Thursday, April 21, 2011
Maundy Thursday remembers a night that started with ordinary things - food, water, friends, and dirty feet.
Our worship service tonight was simple and powerful. We participated in a ceremony of foot washing, and shared Holy Communion. The sermon reminded us that Jesus showed love to his friends, right up til the last moments he spent with them. We sang hymns of worship. And as the Gospel was read, we witnessed the powerful ceremony called The Stripping of the Altar. Each piece of decoration is removed from the altar area, preparing us for the starkness of Good Friday.
I sang Keith and Kristyn Getty's "Gethsemane" during Communion, and led the congregation in "Go to Dark Gethsemane."
As I reflected after the service, I thought about the intimacy of Maundy Thursday.
Good Friday is very public - the trials, the walk to the hill, the crucifixion. In each of these acts, you can feel the push of the crowds, you can hear them yell "Crucify."
But not Maundy Thursday.
Jesus meets in a room with his friends. They walk to the garden, singing. Jesus asks a few friends to wait for him while he prays alone. A kiss on the cheek...
Ready for Friday...