Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A New Kind of Love

John 13:34 (NLT)
So now I am giving you a new commandment:  Love each other.  Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

Maundy Thursday.  The name comes from the Latin ‘commandment’ - this new commandment of love that Jesus illustrated in the washing of the disciples feet.  While knowing suffering and death were imminent, Jesus became a humble servant in washing the feet of His beloved friends.  Friends and enemies.  Jesus bent to wipe Peter’s feet who, within hours, would swear an oath denying any association.  Jesus stooped to hold Judas’ foot, knowing that Judas held in his hands the very coins that betrayed Him.  A commandment to love.  Today is an opportunity for renewed commitment to this kind of love.

The Tenebrae service is the one I find most meaningful throughout the entire year.  Why?  Because I can identify with the disciples.  I love Jesus.  I believe He is the Son of God.  I soak up His teaching, but am sometimes confused by it.  I try my best to live His example.  However, as each candle is extinguished, as each disciple falls away, I am one of them.  I am afraid that if I were ever truly tested, I would deny and desert Him.  I am reminded of missed opportunities to speak about my love for Him or to do the right thing.  The final darkness and silence leave me to my thoughts and draw me close to God with my confession of weakness.  I am reminded that I helped put Jesus on the cross.

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