Jesus said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
JOHN 13:34 (NIV)
I remember my first Maundy Thursday worship service. I didn’t know what to expect; to be honest, I didn’t know what Maundy meant! Maundy, I learned, was a shortened form of the Latin word mandatum, which means “command.” As we see in our verse from John today, Jesus gave his disciples and us a new commandment on that first Maundy Thursday: “You must love one another.” That night Jesus humbled himself by washing the disciples’ feet as he shared a meal with them for the last time before his death. The next day Jesus paid the ultimate price by giving his life for our sins.
The first Maundy Thursday service I attended brought the worshipers to a point of self-reflection. Then the pastor asked for our personal prayer concerns, prayed for us individually, and ended the service with Communion.
When the service was over, I was in tears thinking of the love Christ has for us. His command to us was not just to love someone when it’s easy or convenient but to love even when it’s hard — like when we are busy or when someone is difficult to love. Some days and some situations are challenging. But we can each pray that we will love one another so that we can show the world what it means to follow Christ.
The Upper Room
By Kathleen Brewer (New Brunswick, Canada)