Thursday of Holy Week is often a day many tend to overlook. It’s the day before Good Friday, a day before the start of a holiday weekend, for some just another tired and worn day. But for me this day, and specifically this evening has always been special.


Maundy Thursday is the day we remember Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples. We remember His acts of humility and sacrifice. Most of all we remember His devotion to God and love for humankind. The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin “mandatum” which means mandate or commandment. On the first Maundy Thursday long ago Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” -John 13:34. Simple, direct, to the point and yet somehow different.


What is so new or different about this commandment, this mandate that serves as the core of what Maundy Thursday is supposed to represent? I thought God has always taught us to love one another? Love is a basic human emotion that guides our world, our ethics, our desire, our passion, just about everything we see as good in our world. Yes, this is all true, but the unique part about love before Jesus is that no one on Earth could imagine loving someone the way God loves us in Jesus Christ. God’s love in Jesus is sacrificial, it is selfless, it gives itself away and it gives life to those who receive it.


I personally don’t think it is possible for any of us to love one another as God has loved us in Jesus Christ. But we can try. We can seek this kind of love and we can remember the one who gave it.


This Maundy Thursday at Templeton Presbyterian Church we will celebrate Maundy Thursday as a community of faith. We will have a simple meal of soup, bread, and water. We will read the Scripture that points to the sacrifice of our Messiah. We will share in Holy Communion together. We will sing songs of lament, hope and praise. We will leave the sanctuary as the sun sets and go home to think and wait and try to learn how we can love one another more as Jesus loved us.


Maundy Thursday is a day many will not think about or will overlook in a busy calendar. But for those who do remember and celebrate this day, something special will be given. You will be given a glimpse into the heart of the gospel message. The message of a God who loves you more than you can possibly imagine or hope to love yourself. Still it’s worth trying don’t you think?


I pray God’s blessings on you this Maundy Thursday, and I pray God’s blessings on your doing your best to live out His commandment.


Soli Deo Gloria