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Lent Devotionals: Thursday, April 13

Maundy Thursday…Serve In a Way That Makes You Uncomfortable


We have finally come to the end of our Journey through the wilderness, and arrived here in the middle of Holy Week. Today is Maundy Thursday. Some Traditions call it Passion Thursday, Holy Thursday, or Paschal Thursday. For many countries around the world, it is even set aside as a public holiday. Most scholars agree that the English word maundy in that name for the day is derived from the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John 13:34 by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet.
This past summer, we took our Lifesong students on our annual summer trip. It was quite an eventful drive to San Francisco, especially after losing the rear A/C on the bus in southern California. While in downtown SF, we served with an organization called “City Team.” This is a great ministry to the marginalized and needy that live on the streets in that area. The most impactful part of our day was that afternoon when many of us had the opportunity to serve in the foot care station.
At the foot care station, any and all of those that had come to enjoy the meal that we were also helping to serve could sign up for foot care. This included a volunteer washing their feet, visiting with them, and finally giving them a brand new pair of fresh, soft, white cotton socks. Personally, I was not looking forward to this event at all… let’s just say that I have a bit of an aversion to feet. But, I did it and I’m glad I did. Not only that, it was indescribably beautiful to watch our students serve in such a way as they too washed feet.
There was something really transcendent about that day, especially as I ponder on it on this day that commemorates the day Jesus washed his disciples feet. Let’s face it, for all intents and purposes, society and the systems in place all say that Jesus is superior to the Disciples and that they should in fact be serving him. Yet again, as he tends to do, Jesus very gently says, “ I know what you’ve been told and what you think…but I want to show you a different way.” Jesus gives us a perfect example of servant leadership. It would have been far easier for Jesus to delegate tasks and remain in his elevated status, but that’s not who he is.
Maundy Thursday is a day of servanthood, and love for one another. This Holy Thursday reminds us that what society tells us is the norm is not always how Jesus would have us interact with those we encounter. Society’s way is always easier, but the life of a servant is not always. It can be smelly, unpleasant, uncomfortable, and even at times ugly. Jesus’ example tells us that a little humility goes a long way. When society is screaming for us to take, Jesus calls us to give. Have you been taken out of your comfort zone lately? Find ways to spread the love of Christ that make you uncomfortable….you’ll be glad you did!

Rev. Corey Moses
Associate Pastor