Thursday, 5 April 2012

Love, Wash, Eat, Drink, Remember: a Short Sermon for Maundy Thursday

The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum which means command.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 
Today, we remember two ways in which Jesus exemplified that mandatum, that command.

First, he washed his disciples’ feet. Stunning. Barely comprehensible—for Peter, especially. Jesus knew it.
John 13:7 …“What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 
Do we understand what exactly is going on? Not entirely. If we did the church would be full tonight and every Sunday. But we can choose to remember it and do what he says anyway.
 John 13:14 “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” 
We can do it literally. Tonight. We can do it figuratively as we serve one another with great generosity. 

Second, Jesus sets up a memorial for us. Paul describes it.
1 Corinthians 11:23 “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 
Jesus said, “In remembrance of me.” Another memorial like the one Moses set up for the Passover in Exodus. We keep it as a feast to the LORD Jesus. Throughout our generations. Forever. Sunday by Sunday, Maundy Thursday by Maundy Thursday. To remember him.

Love one another. Wash one another’s feet. Eat the bread. Drink the wine. In remembrance of him. Remember that.