‘ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another,’
Maundy Thursday is an important date in the Royal calendar.
It is the day on which the Queen visits cathedrals around the country to present a purse of Maundy money (small, especially minted silver coins) to those elderly recipients whose names have been put forward, in recognition of their service to their church and community. Perhaps some of you reading this may have received Maundy money from the Queen?
Service then, is at the heart of this gift.
Service was also at the heart of the last Passover meal that Jesus shared with His disciples on the evening before His arrest, sentencing and death.
At the beginning of the meal Jesus demonstrated what ‘service’ looks like.
‘He got up from the table, took off His outer robe, and tied a towel round Himself. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciple’s feet….
After He had washed their feet…… He said to them, ‘So, if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do what I have done to you.’
The disciples were shocked at Jesus’ action….. and they were shamed.
Not one of them had thought to make sure that Jesus’ feet were washed as they entered the house. Maybe they thought, ‘ That’s not our job, that’s the job of the servant’.
So now, Jesus would take the role of a servant and wash their feet. By this action Jesus was showing Himself to be ‘the One who came not to be served, but to serve.’
At this same meal Jesus gave a new commandment to the disciples that they should love one another in the same way as they had received love from Him.
That is easier to say than to do. But we can do that in our everyday living through kind acts and thoughtful prayer for others; by giving time to listen and to just ‘be’ with another person……
…And by washing one another’s feet. Taking the initiative as Jesus had done, to do that job which isn’t really ours to do.