Just Another Manic Maundy?
By Beth Sarey, Youth Discipleship Director | April 3, 2019
It’s been a crazy week. Of course, there were the mundane parts, but there was also a surprise interruption to my status quo that changed the trajectory of my week and has the potential to have far-reaching implications. I LOVE clear expectations in all areas of my life and when the unexpected pops in… well, that means change is a-coming and I have a love-hate relationship with change. Even when the change might eventually be very good, it still throws me for a loop when things don’t match my expectations!
In all of history, there may not have been a week of more significant interruption to the status quo than Holy Week. Not only did it require a complete shift in expectations, but Holy Week provided enough emotional whiplash to last for over 2000 years and counting!
Sunday Funday! Jesus rides into town like he just hit a walk-off home run to win game 7 of the World Series! He has run the original grassroots campaign and folks are cheering him on. They know this is only the beginning. First stop, Jerusalem then straight on to the White House!
Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down: It’s hard to get going on Monday mornings and this one is no different. Jesus is on his way into town and notices all the things not going according to plan. Even the fig tree isn’t doing its job and Jesus lays down a curse. Probably not the best situation to prime the pump for what would be seen when they got to the temple. All kinds of chaos had broken loose and Jesus is over it! He flips a few tables to get his point across and leaves them to get their act together.
Tumultuous Tuesday: Jesus evades a trap by the religious leaders and doesn’t mince words when He sets them straight. He also takes the opportunity to impart wisdom to the disciples as he speaks of faith and of things yet to come. His time is limited and there is so much to say.
Waiting on Wednesday: We actually don’t know what Jesus did on Wednesday. Likely, he rested from the events earlier in the week — perhaps knowing what the next few days would bring. Meanwhile, the chief priests & experts of the law were coming up with a plan to get rid of Jesus. They just had to wait until after the Passover feast.
Just another Manic Maundy: This was not a boring old Thursday. The disciples take the day preparing for the Passover meal. During dinner, Jesus throws them a curveball, gets up and washes their feet! This was a “low man on the totem pole” job but Jesus was setting an example of how to selflessly love one another.
That’s actually where we get the name “Maundy”. Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum or command. Jesus set the example with his actions and he was also clear with his words, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
It’s at this Passover meal that Jesus institutes what we now observe as Eucharist/Holy Communion. He tells of things to come and this evening marks a pivotal turn in Holy Week. It’s Jesus’ last chance to really speak to his disciples and he speaks of the coming of the Holy Spirit. He promises they will not be left alone when he is gone.
Following dinner, Jesus and the disciples retreat to the Garden of Gethsemane and it is there we witness deep prayer and deep betrayal.
Join us on Thursday, April 18 at 7 pm when our middle and high school students lead us in an incredibly moving Maundy Thursday service. It’ll enrich your experience of Holy Week in powerful ways.
It’s a GOOD Friday? This particular Friday seems to be anything but good! Jesus has been arrested and Friday brings his trial. He endures false accusations, mockery, beatings and ultimately crucifixion. How could we possibly call that Good?
Join us Friday, April 19 at 7:45 pm when our Children and Family Ministry team leads us in the Shadows of the Cross. We’ll follow Jesus on the last hours of his life and you will better understand the sacrificial work Jesus did on the Cross for us. It is Good indeed.
Holy Saturday: In silence they wait. The disciples couldn’t have even imagined the inexplicable joy that was yet to come. Sometimes the pain is just too dark and we forget, too. Holy Saturday reminds us that we know God is faithful…..and Sunday’s coming!
If you jump right from the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday to the celebration of Easter, you may end up at the same place but you miss the beauty and struggle of the journey. It’s like jumping ahead to the last page of the book. You’ve missed all the pieces that make the finale so meaningful.
Step into the story this year. Walk through Holy Week WITH Christ – you’ll likely find the journey makes the destination even sweeter.