Considering the Day Before Good Friday…

     Today, the day before Good Friday, is known as Holy, or Maundy Thursday. On the day before Christ’s cruel crucifixion, it is worth considering crucial events and pivotal words spoken by Jesus.

     During the ‘Last Supper,” the final meal with his beloved disciples, Jesus bent low to wash their feet, giving them an example of servant leadership.

     The word maundy is derived from a Latin word, which means commandment and refers to the commandment Jesus gave to his disciples after washing their feet.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34 NKJV)

     Theologian John Piper says the ‘greatest prayer in the world’[1] was prayed on Maundy Thursday in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus cried,

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me. Yet not my will, but yours be done. (Mark 14:36)

     During the 2019 season of Lent, I’ve read two impactful books. Sharon Hodde Miller, who will be the keynote speaker at our church’s upcoming women’s retreat, [2] is the author of Free of Me…Why Life is Better When It’s NOT ABOUT YOU. The second is Forgetfulness…The Path to True Christian Joy by Timothy Keller. (Note: I recommend both books but would suggest you first read Keller’s short booklet, which was instrumental in Miller’s insights.)

     Jesus’ prayer in the Garden presents the ultimate example of “self- forgetfulness.”

     While reading these two books, I was reminded first about how preoccupied with me I can be. Secondly, I felt encouraged that despite my tendency toward self-absorption, I see personal growth. I recognize greater willingness to lay aside my will because I sense God is calling me to a purpose beyond that which comes naturally or feels most comfortable.

     A recurring thought has occupied my mind the past few weeks:

God always calls us to good.
God never calls us to easy.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, Arizona, March 2019 by Ron Reeve

     During these final days before Resurrection Sunday, my prayer for each of us is that we will—to the best of our ability and understanding—follow the example of Jesus who laid aside his will in order to give us the gracious gift of redemption.

Easter blessings to you and all you love…

Sue Reeve

  1. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-greatest-prayer-in-the-world-maundy-thursday
  2. For information about the retreat: https://lakecity.church/event/breatheretreat/

 

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