Today we celebrate Maundy Thursday – the anniversary of the Last Supper. The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum which means “command.” It was at the Last Supper that Jesus gave his disciples the last commandment – In John 13:34, Jesus says I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Last year, a friend invited me over for a Seder meal and it was an incredibly moving experience. The Seder we celebrated was based on the Christian Seder liturgy, and as I sat through Maundy Thursday worship last year I could just imagine what Jesus’s last supper was like with his disciples. Tonight at Resurrection we simplified this Seder concept and shared a soup and salad meal together right smack in the middle of worship. There was a chance before dinner to have our feet washed, remembering how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples just before he gave him the new commandment. Once we had finished eating, we shared communion with one another at our tables and then walked in silence to the sanctuary to observe the stripping of the altar.
There are really no words to describe the holiness of Maundy Thursday. Tonight was holy. For so many reasons. For the people around the table that I shared a meal with. For the people who couldn’t come to the meal, but came just in time to share the holy meal. For the people who served behind the scenes to make it possible. For the musical sounds that happened. For the laughter. The goosebumps I got when I thought about why we had gathered and what we were doing. It was truly a holy experience.