The Greatest of These is the Least of These – My Maundy Thursday Experience

Hello World!!!

Easter Sunday is just a couple of days away…If you’re anything like me, you will be shopping for your Easter outfit on Saturday and reminiscing about Easter Egg Hunts and eating those Cadbury chocolate eggs…I’ve since learned that some foods like Cadbury Creme Eggs don’t agree with me but I would be lying if I said the thought doesn’t cross my mind as I walk past the pastel displays of Easter goodies in all of the stores…

But as you and I know, Easter is not about the brand new dress, the Easter eggs or the assorted sweets…it is about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ…But if you’ve been a Christian for years or even in church for years – and there is a difference- you know the story backward and forward and it doesn’t quite enthrall you as it should…Yes, I’m keepin’ it real as they say…

Anyway, in an effort to get a fresh perspective on Easter, I decided to attend a Maundy Thursday service at Redemption Community Church, where I attend Bible Study. Thinking it was going to be like a typical church service, I wore a dress, hose and heels. However, as I walked into the church’s Fellowship Hall,  I immediately recognized that I was a bit overdressed. There were several basins set up in front of chairs. Folded towels were placed on the backs of the chairs. Also, instead of the jubilant songs that are a staple of Easter celebrations, a soundtrack of somber songs played as people sat in the chairs that were lined up on the wall.

I observed that I wasn’t the only one that was wondering what would come next. People peered at the chairs and the basins in the center of the room. Each person was given a slip of paper on which was written a scripture concerning the Easter story and was told to meditate on the scripture. I did, and I will tell you more about my scripture on Easter Sunday…stay tuned…After a while, the leader of the service explained the meaning of Maundy Thursday to us. On this Thursday, Jesus partook of the Last Supper with his disciples. He explained how during Biblical times, people had their feet washed upon entering someone’s house as their feet were dirty from outdoor debris. Obviously, their shoes weren’t as as durable as the shoes we wear today. The lowliest servant of the house was responsible for this task.

As a part of the Last Supper and in an effort to demonstrate humility, the Lord washed his disciples’ feet. The leader of the service told us that Jesus was communicating that to be a disciple of Christ, we must also demonstrate our humility and asked us when was the last time we did something for someone else in an effort to demonstrate humilty.

12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.  John 13:12-17

Here is another passage that also demonstrates Jesus’ thoughts on humility and service.

25 Jesus called them together and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.  Matthew 20:25-28

The leader then told us that we would be washing one another’s feet. (I was glad that I had a pedicure not that long ago. Otherwise, someone would have left that service deeply disturbed, ha,ha…) Each pair was given a pitcher of water that was mixed with anointing oil and was instructed to simply pour water over one foot of your partner and towel dry that person’s foot. The other person would follow suit and then we were told to pray for one another…I was moved as I participated in the exercise and watched everyone.

Afterward, as we stood back in front of our original seats, each person read their scripture, and the Easter story was recounted through the scripture reading. We were also told to perform acts of humility and consider what Jesus would have us to do. I won’t tell you what I’m going to do as I think it would be boasting to say that I will do this or do that, but I will say this. If you’re anything like me, you think that somehow YOUR SCHEDULE is above all else – that is someone has to almost make an appointment to disrupt your schedule in any way…I think it would be an act of humility or service to gracefully allow my schedule to be disrupted if another needs my help or service…

As I was driving to church last night, I saw that a person’s car had stalled on the road and people were driving around the car and continuing on their journey as if they didn’t notice that person needed help. I was among that group. Would it have killed me to stop and ask if that person needed help? Probably not…But I had things to do and people to see – Geez, I was headed to church…I think my story illustrates two points…1. I don’t think you have to look very far to find someone to help…it would be crazy to ignore someone asking for help while you’re on your way to a shelter to drop off  your canned goods…2. Humility doesn’t have a be a big production…it may just mean asking someone if he or she needs your help…Now, I won’t be foolish…If I see some man pulled over on the highway and it’s late at night, trust me I will speed right on by, but you get the idea…

Anyway, my objective for the night was achieved…I have a fresh new outlook for Easter which is worth infinitely more than a fresh new dress – although I will be wearing one. I intend to pray and ask God to allow me the opportunity to demonstrate humility and service as He did with this disciples….

Hope it’s a Good Friday for you…

Any thoughts?

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~ by jackieholness on April 10, 2009.

3 Responses to “The Greatest of These is the Least of These – My Maundy Thursday Experience”

  1. Great, practical spiritual advice! Thank you for sharing and posting…

  2. Thank you for this post Jackie. It reminds us of the true meaning behind these holidays. Where did all of the consumerism come from anyway? All of these Christian holidays should be about the small things we can do for each other. I participated in this ceremony before at the church I attend sometimes and it was truly a moving experience.

  3. @Tess, you’re welcome…thanks for your comment…you know how I feel about them 🙂

    @Katrina, thanks! I was thinking this post may not be exciting as others have been…glad you read it 🙂 You’re right. All Christian holidays should be about what we can do for others…

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