I was trying to put my thoughts together about last night’s Maundy Thursday service, when this email arrived. Lynne gave her permission to post it. Thanks, Lynne!
Maundy Thursday took on a whole new meaning for me tonight.
I don’t remember if I ever attended a service on Maundy Thursday. If I did, I was in my teens and obviously it did not leave a lasting impression. Unlike tonight.
Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. Maundy, derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,” refers to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper: to love with humility by serving one another and to remember his sacrifice. Yeah, I looked it up. I do this because I have an inquisitive mind. No, that’s not it. Well, maybe a little, but I want to KNOW about Jesus. (Once in the SW?SS class, I blurted out “I wonder what Jesus was like when he was a teenager.”)
Weird, I know.
Anyway, who cares about why I am taking such an interest in Jesus’ journey—his life, the disciples’ written testimonies—what He was trying to tell us through his teachings. Why, after 60 years, would I bother to try to understand all this stuff? It’s your fault, Kim.
There were about 24 of us attending the Maundy Thursday service tonight. Long tables set up in the Fellowship Hall, candles, soft lamp light, a fountain (which was all you could hear at times), piano music softly playing as we quietly entered. On each table: grapes, various cheeses, flat bread, figs…water for drinking. Kim quietly leading the evening in prayer and verse, she invited us to feast and reflect; we ate in silence. Scriptures were read and hymns were softly sung. We shared communion. Even the two youngsters remained quiet during the entire ceremony. It was about as close as one could come to experiencing the Last Supper. And the scriptures so aptly chosen lay the path towards Jesus’ final hours. The closer we came to the final reading, the candles were snuffed and, one by one, the lights were turned off. There we were in the light of dusk manifesting somberly in the moment. Somewhere in another room a cell phone rang. It didn’t even penetrate the atmosphere at the very end; I thought, hmmm, it’s a sign from God that he approved of this evening.
At the end, we departed in silence.
We were all overwhelmed.
Some of us hugged Kim; I was one of them. I felt the energy come through her; the true meaning of Lent finally imminent for me. She did it again to me.
The cleanup was done in silence. And when we spoke to each other, we whispered.
A magnificent evening with my Pilgrimage family. And now off to bed to think about how blessed I am. In so many ways.