Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Thursday, March 28, 2024

YEAR B 2024 maundy thursday

Maundy Thursday, 2024
Exodus 12:1-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Psalm 116:1, 10-17

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Maundy Thursday.  We get the word Maundy from the Latin word, maundatum, which is also where we get the words mandatory and mandate.  It’s related to com-mand and commandment.  All these words give us the notion of being told what to to.  What is required of us.  And in the gospel reading we just heard, Jesus gives us a commandment.  He says it’s a new commandment.  

What is that commandment?  Is it to wash one another’s feet?  No.  Is it not to eat pork?  No.  Is it to reject people who don’t think or look like us?  No.  The new commandment from Jesus, the maundatum of Maundy Thursday is to love one another.  Just love one another.  And a necessary part of that commandment is the “one another” part.  Because you cannot do what Jesus commands without other people.  It requires community.  There is no me and Jesus in this commandment.  It requires us.  Together.

Four days ago, on Palm Sunday, when we got to the final verse of our closing hymn, I was suddenly overwhelmed by it all, my eyes teared up, and I had to stop singing.  I just couldn’t do it.  And though I could not sing, the song did not stop.  Because of the community.  Congregational hymns are not solos, thank God!  We sing them together.  And if the priest or anyone else has to stop singing, the song goes on.  When you cannot sing, the community sings for you.  When you cannot pray, the community prays for you.  When you cannot believe, the community believes for you.

Last Sunday, I could not sing, but the song did not stop.  And when one voice stops, the song is changed, though it still goes on.  In our community, in our worship, in our singing, you add a part that only you can add.  A certain flavor, a certain tone, a certain shakiness, a certain wrong note even.  The song is different because you are there!  When you can’t sing, or when you stop singing, the song changes, but it keeps going.  The song goes on, and it was made different because you were there.

At the close of this service, after we have set aside the reserved Sacrament for tomorrow, we will adjourn for a time into the parish hall for an Agape’ meal.  The word “agape’” means love.  Unconditional love.  And the reason churches have that meal on this Maundy Thursday night is to remind ourselves of the commandment we have received.  That we love one another.  As Jesus said, “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.”

There will come a day when each and every one of us stops singing.  But the song will go on, because we love one another, just as Jesus loves us.


No comments:

Post a Comment