Tomorrow is Good Friday. It will be especially good after 5 PM when all my papers will be finished. I am not a fan of stressing over papers this week – it just has not been a great experience, wishing that I could have more time to reflect and contemplate the rapidly approaching Good Friday/Easter weekend.
But, today is Maundy Thursday. Four years ago I had never heard of it, and now it is one of my favorite days on the church calendar. I wouldn’t say that I “look forward to it” as much as I appreciate the symbolism and meaning behind the day.
Maundy is from the latin root for mandate or command. Traditionally, Maundy Thursday celebrates the last Passover meal Jesus shared with his disciples. It was on this evening that the eucharist tradition was passed on to the disciples, as well as washing of the disciples feet, an incredible act of servanthood and humility. Later in the evening, Jesus would go to pray in Gethsemene only to be betrayed.
One thought that has struck me today…
On the same night that Judas betrayed Jesus, he also had his feet washed by Jesus and shared in the eucharist.
Like Judas, I too am both the recipient of grace and the one who betrays.
Ray Anderson, a faculty member at Fuller and one of my systematic theology professors, spoke this week at chapel. Fuller posted a short summary of the message, and the following is from that summary:
After his betrayal of Jesus, Judas hung himself in despair, said Anderson, speaking from Matthew 27:1-10. “But is death ever the final word? No!” Judas will confront Jesus again in the time of final judgment, and Anderson said he likes to imagine what that face-to-face meeting will be like. “Once I’ve chosen you, you can’t get away,” will be Jesus’ words to Judas, anticipates Anderson. “Your betrayal is not so heinous it can’t be forgiven.”
Forgive me, Lord. I am a betrayer.
Thank you, Lord, for your mercy.