Tag Archives: Maundy Thursday

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/

 

Remembering During Holy Week…

     Easter is just around the corner. During this Holy Week, today, March 29th, is remembered as Maundy Thursday.

     Each person who decides to be intentional about his or her spiritual journey will undoubtedly experience memorable moments when the air between Heaven and earth feels thin. Praying among ancient olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane—the very place where many points defining Jesus’ life purpose converged—was one of those times for me.

     On Thursday, Jesus shared a final meal with his disciples, and the sacrament of communion was established.

     Following their ‘Last Supper,’ they walked together to the Garden of Gethsemane.

     In the Garden Jesus agonized, praying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;

      the Garden Jesus gave us the ultimate example of submission when he said, nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 23:39 NKJV)

     In the Garden Jesus’ weary disciples couldn’t stay awake to pray for their master teacher and friend whom they suspected was the long-awaited Messiah.

     In the Garden Judas planted a kiss of betrayal on Jesus’ cheek.

     In the Garden Roman soldiers arrested an innocent man.

     The hours between Thursday and Friday must have been dizzying for those who loved Jesus. Even though Jesus had tried to prepare his disciples for what was about to happen, I imagine the thought overwhelmed their comprehension.

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The Garden of Gethsemane

     Tomorrow, March 30th, many of us will attend Good Friday services during which we’ll consider the unimaginable suffering of Jesus on a Roman cross. His willing submission became the ultimate sacrifice for all the ways we frail humans miss the mark of God’s perfection.

     When I was in Barcelona recently, my group, along with a throng of folks from around the world, visited the most popular tourist site in Spain. The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is an amazing large Roman Catholic church that has been under construction for over 100 years. The photo below shows one side of the church, which depicts Christ’s crucifixion.

     While dying a torturous death, Jesus said, “It is finished.” His earthly journey as Emmanuel—God with us—had concluded, but the character and love of God that Jesus came to show were far from over.

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain

     Signs of ongoing construction visible in this photograph remind me Jesus’ agonizing death does not signify the end. His work of redemption on the cross continues to us living more than 2000 years later.

     As I conclude today’s post, I pray each of us will:

  • Consider Christ’s submission to God in the Garden on Maundy Thursday, exploring areas of our own willfulness the Spirit may be inviting us to submit to God’s higher will.
  • Give thanks for Christ’s willingness to endure the agony of the cross on Good Friday. If we are carrying a heavy burden right now, ask God to give us strength to keep moving forward with faith and determination. If our burden is light during this season, ask God to show us whose load we can help ease.
  • Together, rejoice in the miracle of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, giving thanks for the gift of life each new day brings.

Happy Easter!!

Sue Reeve

P. S. To all who told me they were praying for me, thank you. Each day I’m feeling a bit better, and I appreciate your faithfulness to pray!

Peace is Possible—Even When Storms Rage!

     Today, the Thursday before Easter Sunday, is known as Maundy Thursday.

     Maundy Thursday is the holy day remembering the final meal Jesus shared with his beloved friends.

     It was on this Thursday Jesus bent low to wash the feet of his disciples, giving them an example of servant leadership.

     It was on Maundy Thursday, the day before his brutal crucifixion, Jesus journeyed with his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. In the Garden—where I was privileged to pray almost seven months ago—an anguished Jesus cried out to God three different times,

      “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me.”

     Finally, Jesus concluded with words John Piper calls the greatest prayer in the world[1], “Yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Read this full account in Luke 22)

     I believe following his prayer, Jesus felt the assurance of these words from Isaiah: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.”

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     I love water. My soul is nurtured when I walk on an ocean beach or along the lake. But, the truth is, deep water frightens me. I’ve taken swimming lessons several times, but freeze up when we head to the deep end of the pool.

     Perhaps, my fearfulness of deep water is one of the reasons Isaiah 43:1 & 2 is an extremely important portion of Scripture for me.

     A few days ago in my blog post, I referenced several different people I care about who are experiencing the possibility of being overcome by the raging waters of scary life circumstances. A lot in life can be frightening.

     I don’t know what type of fears you may be struggling with today, but, without a doubt, I believe Jesus knows and cares.

     My prayer for you this Easter season is that your personal storm will be calmed by the gentle voice of Jesus speaking “Peace, be still!”

     Happy Easter!

Sue Reeve

C:\Users\Sue\Desktop\Ron Photos\Blog Post Pix\Palouse Falls.jpg

  1. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-greatest-prayer-in-the-world-maundy-thursday

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