A retired pastor once said from the pulpit “I am often disappointed by the turn out to Maundy Thursday services… it is one of the most important times on the church calendar.”
Maundy Thursday is important. It doesn’t get enough airtime!
In John 13, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples. Even Judas who was known to Jesus as the betrayer. In 1st century Palestine, only slaves would wash feet. For the disciples, it would have been a jaw dropping moment. Even Peter couldn’t believe it was happening. This moment coupled with the Son of God riding into Jerusalem on a donkey was a game changer for many folks. It revealed the heart of God.
In Luke 22, we also read of the Passover meal, or the Last Supper where particular attention is given to Jesus as divine. As a foreshadow to the crucifixion, Jesus at the Passover table references his body (bread) and his blood (wine) and identifies them as the new, divine covenant!
Jesus! Fully human! Fully divine!
It is a delicate tension we need to pay attention to as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Those footsteps take us to the brutality of the cross and the grand victory of resurrection. So don’t skip over this part of the story.
If we simply follow Jesus as human, we focus on ethics, social justice and other good stuff but neglect the bigger picture of God’s work.
If we simply focus on Jesus as divine, we worship, we pray, and we spend time reading the sacred text, yet miss out on the here and now that was so important to Jesus.
Being faithful is to understand the divine dynamic of Jesus as both human and divine. That is why Maundy Thursday in important!!
Go to a Maundy Thursday service at your church. If you don’t have a church, find someone to have a conversation with. Whatever you do, be sure to reflect on the human/divine dynamic of Jesus. Participate in service to one another and remember Jesus as a humble servant. Take communion and remember the divinity of Jesus as we prepare for Easter and the resurrection.
Do you find yourself gravitating to Jesus as fully human, fully divine, or both? What are the implications?