Today is Maundy Thursday… it starts off the Triduum or “three days.” Ok, Easter is great, its wonderful and as Christians it would be fair and appropriate to call us “Easter People.” But if all you have is Easter and you don’t walk the days before it… you are missing a very big part of what Easter is.
I invite you where ever you find yourself to participate in the these days and their worship services as much as you can. From today’s services to Good Friday and the Vigil on Saturday evening, they all bring out different parts of the bigger story, the divine drama, if you will. The empty tomb is what brings us hope as Christians, but why do we have to go there? How did we get to this remarkable joy? Well in part that is what the journey of Lent and in particular these last three days of Holy Week are all about. The story of the resurrection brings us back to the beginning of the story, it is about our relationship with God and what God will go through for us and for our sake.
Speaking of journeys…In the closing of our Lenten devotions, the book of faith Lenten Journey just touches ever so lightly on the last petition of the Lord’s prayer. “Deliver us from evil” you would think that evil would get a little more time, but I guess when you think about it, it really doesn’t need any more!
When we pray that we might be delivered from evil, are in part praying that everything will come out ok. You could say that when we pray this petition we are really asking for what we already prayed for in the first three..holy name, kingdom come, will be done, when these three are happening we are indeed delivered from evil.
We are a people who live in the middle. A paradox if you will, even if you won’t I believe this is where we are at. We know the end of the story, the one who is Alpha and Omega has been here done that and bought the T-shirt. But we still live between. There is a Latin phrase that is a big deal in Lutheran Theology… that phrase is “simul Justus et Peccator” Basically that means we are saint’s and sinner’s at the same time, simultaneously a righteous person and a sinner.
Our lives are between the already and not yet… we are becoming what we are already in Jesus Christ (ohhhh… notice how smoothly I worked that in!) But it is true.
Maundy Thursday for me is ultimately about two things… The gift of the Lord’s Supper and an example of humble service.
Many people do the foot washing thing that Jesus does in the Gospel lesson appointed for this day. I think that is fine in many ways, but I think it is way too little. People get hung up on their feet nowadays… while our feet may not be suitable for a Dr. Scholls ad, they are not for the most part caked with disgusting animal waste and filth from the streets. When we symbolically wash feet today that is great as long as it informs our service to others. I would rather have people do something for another person, or donate their time to a good cause, because I think this gets at Jesus point. Being a Christian being an Easter people person, means not reveling in our glory or salvation, but rather reaching out in love.
Here is where the supper comes into play… fed and nourished with the Word and at the Lord’s table we are energized to live in this between-ness… to love fully and serve fully as we were first fully loved and served in Jesus Christ.
Time for bed… its gonna be a great couple of days…