After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. – John 13:12-17
Maundy Thursday is an alternate name for Holy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word "Maundy" comes from the Latin mandatum, which means "commandment" As recorded in John's gospel, on his last night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34).
Think about this for a minute. On the night before Jesus was crucified, he shared Passover with his closest companions. Jesus did something completely unexpected and definitely "off-script" of the Passover meal. He got up, put a towel around his waist and washed his disciples' feet. Although he had told them many times that he had come to serve, not be served, he wanted them to have a lasting memory of the importance of servanthood. Jesus craved for all of us to follow his example. How are you doing with servanthood? Spend some time today thinking about the words Jesus said to his disciples. What does "wash one another's feet" mean to you today? You've spent the last six weeks reading stories about those that want change and those that are agents of change in their communities. They are definitely "washing one another's feet." Are you ready to start writing your story?
Maundy Thursday Prayer
God, open my eyes today to ways that I can serve rather than be served. Give me the desire to make a difference in your world. Amen.