by Christopher Bird
After much cajoling from my colleagues, I have finally relented and decided to write regularly in my Fleeting Thoughts blog. Some of the excerpts will be included here on the FBC site...so let’s see how it goes!
At Fleet Baptist, we'll be gathering on Maundy Thursday, April 13th 8.00pm, at our Clarence Road venue to reflect on the command Jesus gave us in John 13, and to consider its implications for us today. We will break bread and drink wine together as Jesus did at the last supper, and as He commanded us to do, in order to remember the enormity of His love. You are welcome to join us if you can.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34)
The Meaning of Maundy
Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, is when the Christian Church remembers the last time Jesus ate a meal with His disciples before He was arrested and put to death. This meal is referred to as 'The Last Supper'. As Jesus ate with His close friends, He already knew that one of them was about to betray Him and cost Him His life; another would three times deny all knowledge of Him; the others would desert Him as He hung fighting for breath on a barbaric instrument of death. Jesus knew all this as He ate one last meal with those friends.
The word Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, which translates as 'commandment'. It refers to the words of Jesus in John 13:34 (quoted above), where Jesus issued a mandate to those sat at the table during His last meal, and by implication to all those who choose to follow Him now. The mandate was to love in such a way that others would notice. Radical love. Sacrificial love. Costly love. He even modelled it for them by washing their feet, simply because it needed doing and hadn’t been done by the servant of their host on arrival at the house, as was the custom of the day. He showed love, even though He knew how each of them would turn their back on Him in the coming hours. He demonstrated that the love of God is not dependent on us – we cannot earn it, and we do not deserve it. The mandate Jesus gave to His followers that day still stands: “Love one another, as I have loved you”.
Emulate His Love
So, as Easter approaches, I want to encourage you to reflect on all that Jesus endured; think about His limitless love; think about the fact that He did all of that for you. Think too about how you can emulate His love – after all, that command was given to all who choose to follow Him.
March 30 2017