Skip to main content

Maundy Thursday: let's think about it

Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus' last supper with his disciples and his prayer and then capture in the garden of Gethsemane. The word Maundy is from the old Latin name for the day, Dies Mandatum, which means "the day of the new commandment." 



As Jesus first shared bread and wine with his friends, in church service on Maundy Thursday, we also share the bread and wine of the Holy Communion service to demonstrate our love for Jesus Christ   We celebrate that through bread and wine that he is present and active in our lives. And we remember that first Maundy Thursday  especially recalling the simple meal of bread and wine that Jesus and his disciples shared.

After Jesus gathered and shared bread and wine with his disciples and friends, their lives were changed. And so it is for us: each and every time we eat the bread of life and drink the cup of salvation our lives are changed as once again we share in the body of Christ.

Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, this was a job given usually to the lowliest servant.  And we recall that Jesus came as a true leader should, to serve:

to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many  Matthew 20:28b

In many services, including the ones I lead, at the end of the service the communion table and surrounding are stripped of all decoration including any remaining bread and wine as well candles and cloths. 

The candles are extinguished and removed. Candles represent Christ’s light: “I am the light of the world”. In recognition of the darkness following the death of Jesus on the cross, the candles are removed from our presence.The bread and the wine which represent Jesus's body and blood in the service, are removed just as He was removed from us in the grave.

The communion table has a cloth and a red covering to celebrate the presence of Jesus, the King of Kings. And just as Jesus’ body was stripped of its coverings when he went to his deat, so we too, strip the coverings from the table.


At the end of the service we leave in silence - in a way the service is no over but continues as we reflect and pray over the weekend  It concludes in a joy-filled celebration on Easter day.  We mourn of Jesus' death  and then celebrate his victory over death remembering his resurrection to new life, life that lasts forever.  The sort of life that he offers to those who follow him.

Weeping may tarry for the night,

    but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5b

The lesson we learn from Maundy Thursday stays with us after Easter because it has taught us how to love each other: as Jesus loved us.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34

Popular posts from this blog

Baptism Pool

I was on the cusp of buying a birthing pool.   They are inflatable and relatively cheap.  Unfortunately, they are intended for women of about 5'9" height.  I, however, required the birthing pool for a man.  The man in question was over 6' tall.  He was, of course, not going to give birth but, rather, he had been born again.  The pool was required for baptism.  So instead of the birthing pool I bought a paddling pool.  The pool was 12' in diameter but only 30" high.  I set it up in the garden and filled it with water.  On my getting into the pool to try it out the week before the baptism, there was a veritable tidal wave engulfing a large section of my lawn.  No good then.  Instead I borrowed a custom made baptistry from a nearby church.  The baptism went swimmingly.
A couple of days before the baptism, which took place in our regular Sunday morning service, there was a pool tournament in our church.  The guy who was about to be baptised in the baptismal pool won…

Good News That Can Save Your Life At The End Of March

This March we commemorate the day Jesus died, Good Friday, right on the last day of the month. The significance of the death of Jesus is summed up in this verse:

 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

 There is an amazing simplicity here – 21 words of only one syllable, one word of two syllables, and one word (righteousness) of three syllables. It could hardly be simpler than this–yet whole books could be written on the meaning of each phrase. How important is this verse? Miss this and you’ve missed the truth of God. If you get this right, you can be wrong in a lot of other places and still go to heaven. In these days of rampant theological confusion, it is vitally important that the church of Jesus Christ be firmly settled on the gospel message. That is, after all, our only message.

God has not committed to us a message about political power or military might.

“The Lord has laid on him the iniquity…

Jesus Loves You: This I Know

Jesus loves me! This I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong.
They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

(Words by Anna B. Warner 1860; Music by William B. Bradbury 1861)
(Whitney Houston singing Jesus loves me: click here)

Is this simple song familiar to you? Did you ever sing it as a child? Kenneth Osbeck writes in 101 Hymn Stories, “Without doubt the hymn that has influenced children for Christ more than any other is this simply stated one, written in 1860 by Anna Bartlett Warner. Miss Warner wrote this text in collaboration with her sister Susan as a part of one of the best-selling novels of that day, a novel written by Susan entitled Say and Seal. Today few remember the plot of that novel…but the simple poem spoken by one of the characters, Mr. Linden, as he comforts Johnny Fox, a dying child, still remains the favorite hymn of children around the world to this day.” Osbeck writes that…