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Posts Tagged ‘Maundy Thursday’

Have you ever considered what you would do if you knew you only had one day to live? Would you celebrate all the blessings in your life with those you love? Would you call people to ask forgiveness for any offense or hurt from the past? Would you care what people thought of you? Would you eat your favorite meal? Would you take a hot air balloon ride or zip line adventure or sky dive? Would you sit peacefully waiting for the end to come?

One of my favorite songwriters is Ben Rector. He recorded a song called “Like the World is Going to End,” addressing some of these questions.

If we found out that the world 
was gonna end on Tuesday morning
What would everybody do
It’s funny how the thought of that 
can make something real important
And a lot of things pretty worthless too

The lyrics are poignant, the tune is catchy, but the thoughts I’ve had since first listening to it a few years ago have stayed with me. Read the lyrics of the final chorus:

‘Cause I’d be dancin’ like a fool
I’d eat ice cream every mornin’
I’d call up everyone I loved
And drive them out to California
And we’d say the things 
that we’ve been scared to death to say till then
Now that I think about it
Maybe we should always live like the world is gonna end

Today is Maundy Thursday. It signifies the last 24 hours of the life of Jesus. What did He do?  No big meal – just wine and bread.  No apologizing for wrongs done – He had no sin. No selfish adventures – he served and prayed and forgave. He ate one last meal – with those He loved but knew would abandon Him and the one person He knew would betray Him.

Bob_Goff_Maundy_Thursday

On Maundy Thursday Jesus knew He was headed to a painful, gruesome death. He knew He would be abandoned by friends and forsaken by His Father, yet He chose it anyway. He chose US anyway. Maundy Thursday – our opportunity to receive what Jesus offered on his last day. My friend Jennifer Dukes Lee provided this graphic to help visualize all that Jesus did for us BEFORE the cross. On his last night. At his last meal. With his betrayer.

On His Last Night

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Holidays are more than dates on a calendar. They are usually markers on a memory timeline and most families have at least one tradition for each major holiday. With Easter Sunday less than a week away, you have time to create a new memory, a special new tradition, to mark this very unique holiday.

Some families research and observe some or all of Holy Week, the eight days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. You can google any one of the days of the week and find the unique observances surrounding each one. For instance, did you know that the Wednesday of Holy Week is often called “Spy Wednesday?” This day is observed by many Eastern Orthodox believers as the day Jesus was visiting Simon at his home in Bethany. While there, Mary anointed Jesus’ head and feet with costly perfume. Jesus’ disciples were indignant at the waste of money. Tradition says this was when Judas Iscariot decided to betray Jesus to the Sanhedrin (Mark 14:1-10).

Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples. The word “maundy” is Latin and refers to the part of the evening when Jesus’ washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). The night concludes with a meal, which provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist or Last Supper (Luke 22:7-23).

Good Friday always seemed a misnomer to me. It is the day Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus on Calvary (Matthew 27). In many areas of the world it is a legal holiday, including 12 U.S. states. Why is it called “good?” There are disagreements about the exact meaning, but many believe the “good” simply meant “pious” or “holy.”

Johnny Hart, Good Friday 2

Most Protestants don’t observe it, but Catholics often refer to the next day of the week as “Black Saturday.” There are unique traditions for both western and eastern Christian religions for this day.

Of course, the celebrations abound on Easter, beginning with sunrise services in many churches. New clothes, egg hunts, baskets filled with gifts and candy, joyful hymns declaring Jesus is alive! He is risen from the dead! (Matthew 28:1-15)

What a great season to start a new tradition in your family. Observe a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service in a different church than what you are used to…Give Easter baskets to a women’s shelter or orphanage…send Easter cards to servicemen and women…Read the scriptural accounts of Holy Week to your kids, celebrating each day as Jesus may have…Have a foot-washing service with your small group…Participate in communion on Thursday night.

Enjoy this spring time holiday as you never have before ~ create something fresh and new or resurrect a family tradition from your own past. Either way, make a memory to last a lifetime.

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