As you go about your day and look forward to a long weekend, you might find yourself preparing for a lot of things - family meals, company, fun activities (read: Easter egg hunt) stores being closed for two days (!) and so on. There is a lot going on at the church too. Our worship teams are putting in extra time rehearsing and preparing for two significant services, our sanctuary has a few transformations to go through and there are the finishing touches for our staging. In the busyness that holidays always bring, I want to take a moment to "helicopter up" and look at the landscape.
Today is the fifth day of Holy Week or Passion Week. In fact, this day has been called Maundy Thursday by Christians for centuries. Maundy is derived from the same root as our English word "mandate" and it comes from something extremely significant that happened on the Thursday of the first Passion Week. Jesus was having the Last Supper with his disciples and he gave them this commandment or mandate: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."(John 13:34) Jesus' command to us sets up his motivation for what's about to transpire on Good Friday and our response to it.
On Good Friday we remember Christ's death, compelled by that love. On Easter Sunday we celebrate His resurrection as the completion of the work He did on the cross. And in all of this, we are met by a Saviour who knows us, who sees us and who made it possible for us to be in an eternal relationship with Him. His love changed everything.
So on this Maundy Thursday, I encourage you to reflect on the love that you have received from Christ and how that love is being lived out in you every day. Take some time to consider His love, the cross, your sin, His victory and your response.
Looking forward to remembering and celebrating with you this weekend.