He Came To Serve

Can you imagine being only a few hours away from trials, beatings, and execution–and knowing it was coming–sharing a meal with your friends? And doing the servant’s work of washing their feet?

I’ve had communion in the Upper Room (or where they think it is). It was a most memorable experience.

In my religious tradition, we celebrated Maunday Thursday. Even as a kid I liked to play around with words, so I’d drive Dad crazy playing on “Monday Thursday” themes. Even today, I have no clue as to the word Maunday. But the celebration or remembrance–that is important. It’s actually a discipline of worship and celebration to remember Jesus’ last meal with his closest disciples and the meaning of taking Jesus into my life.

My wife, on the other hand, never even heard of Maunday Thursday. They remembered Good Friday and had a service that day. Those Baptists–what can I say?

I find remembering the celebration a spiritual moment. Sacred, if you will. I find myself somewhat annoyed when parents give it to their little kids simply because it’s the thing to do rather than with a feeling of the sacred. Rebel that I am, I kind of think that the Catholic First Communion at around 7 is pretty early. (Good thing I don’t make the rules, I guess.)

What really stands out isn’t communion–the bread and wine. That was somewhat common except for Jesus’ new meaning. But the foot washing. By the host. That was radical.

We gloss over that in our remembrance. Up until the end, Jesus came to serve. And he told us–we also were called to serve.

I just finished reading (again) Bill Hybels’ book Holy Discontent. This book contains stories about people who experienced something that caused them to change their lives and go serve.

Do we think about this enough in our Lenten devotions to move from the disciplines of remembrance and celebration to the discipline of service. Certainly Jesus pointed the way.

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