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.
maundy thursday commemorates the last supper when jesus shared the passover meal with his disciples on the night before he was crucified. in contrast to joyful easter celebrations when christians worship their resurrected savior, maundy thursday services are a more solemn occasion.
a time of reflection, contemplation, meaning, and commemoration.
before the passover meal jesus washed the feet of his disciples. by performing this lowly act of service, jesus "showed them the full extent of his love" [john 13:1] by his example, jesus demonstrated how christians are to love one another through humble service. we remember his condescension.
during the passover meal, jesus took bread and wine and asked his heavenly father to bless it. he broke the bread into pieces, giving it to his disciples and saying, "this is my body, given for you. do this in remembrance of me." then he took the cup of wine, shared it with his disciples and said, "this wine is the token of God's new covenant to save you, an agreement sealed with the blood i will pour out for you." these events recorded in luke 22:19-20 describe the last supper and form the biblical basis for the practice of communion. we remember his atoning sacrifice.
God of all good, i bless thee for the means of grace; teach me to see in them thy loving purposes and the joy and strength of my soul. thou hast prepared for me a feast; and though i am unworthy to sit down as guest, i wholly rest on the merits of Jesus, and hide myself beneath his righteousness; when i hear his tender invitation and see his wondrous grace, i cannot hesitate, but must come to thee in love. by thy spirit enliven my faith rightly to discern and spiritually to apprehend the savior. while i gaze upon the emblems of my savior’s death, may i ponder why he died, and hear him say, ‘i gave my life to purchase yours, presented myself an offering to expiate your sin, shed my blood to blot out your guilt, opened my side to make you clean, endured your curses to set you free, bore your condemnation to satisfy divine justice.’ o may i rightly grasp the breadth and length of this design, draw near, obey, extend the hand, take the bread, receive the cup, eat and drink, testify before all men that i do for myself, gladly, in faith, reverence and love, receive my lord, to be my life, strength, nourishment, joy, delight. in the supper i remember his eternal love, boundless grace, infinite compassion, agony, cross, redemption, and receive assurance of pardon, adoption, life, glory. as the outward elements nourish my body, so may thy indwelling spirit invigorate my soul, until that day when i hunger and thirst no more, and sit with Jesus at his heavenly feast.
:: the valley of vision ::