Holy Thursday – Maundy Thursday

Gospel Reading:  John 13:1-17, 31-35

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV)

            It was typical of Jesus. On the night in which He was betrayed, which is something that usually derives from hate, Jesus spoke about love. He could have been angry and vented His wrath on Judas. He could have made the rest of the disciples feel uncomfortable and unworthy of His presence, but instead, Jesus chose to emphasize love. It was a remarkable teaching moment in the lives of the disciples who stayed with Him in the Upper Room. It was a lesson that we are meant to keep on learning, practicing, and fulfilling.

            In each of our lives, there are people that we don’t like. They’ve upset us in the past, broken their promises, or they’ve shown hostility to us. We don’t like them because they make us feel vulnerable and their displeasure toward us is hard to endure. However, Christ loves those people no less than He loves us, so in His eyes and through His grace, they are redeemable, acceptable, and even lovable. This is why Christ asked His disciples to love one another before everything soon fell apart, causing them to blame each other and allow fear to override their feelings. Loving one another, under those circumstances, would be very difficult to accomplish.

            Perhaps this week, we could pray for those we dislike and ask God to help us to love them. Maybe God will also give us an opportunity to heal any past wounds or restore a broken relationship. If so, then Christ’s loving words can be applied by ourselves in order to mend our conflicts.

Point to ponder:  Am I willing to reach out this week to someone I dislike?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, even in the midst of a painful act of betrayal, You still displayed God’s love. Encourage us to embrace this important lesson and enable us to overcome our personal feelings of dislike in order to truly love one another. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s drawings called “Celtic Communion.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Communion. Come and join us for worship on Sundays at 11:00 AM. You’ll be made very welcome.