Maundy” derives from the Latin word “mandatum,” meaning commandment.
On this Maundy Thursday, we recall Jesus gathering with close friends/disciples for their last meal together. During the gathering, he drops to his knees and starts washing his disciples’ feet – an act that only a servant would do for a houseguest. Then Jesus says to his disciples: “You call me Teacher and Lord. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.”
Later, he tells his disciples a commandment: “Just as I have loved you, so too, should you love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
As we begin our journey through the Three Holy Days, may we remember what it means to love as Jesus has loved:
To bring good news to the poor.
To proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind.
To let the oppressed go free.
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
To feed the hungry.
To give drink to the thirsty.
To welcome the stranger.
To clothe the naked.
To take care of the sick.
To visit those in prison.
May we choose to love one another, just as Jesus commands us to do.
Rev. Emily Heitzman is an ordained Presbyterian (USA) pastor serving as the shared Pastor with Youth and Households at three ELCA congregations in the neighborhood of Edgewater in Chicago: Unity Lutheran, Ebenezer Lutheran, and Immanuel Lutheran. She runs a collaborative, multicultural youth group that consists of youth from the three congregations as well as youth from the neighborhood. Emily loves hiking in the mountains, attending indie and bluegrass concerts, biking along Lake Michigan, and singing opera and musical theatre. She has a heart for youth, justice, and the Huskers, and can often be seen with coffee or a Guinness. Emily is one of the writers for The Pastoral Is Political feature on HTTPS://REVGALBLOGPALS.ORG. You can find more of her reflections, sermons, and youth ministry ideas on her blog at HTTP://MUSINGSFROMABRICOLAGE.WORDPRESS.COM and connect with her on twitter at @PASTOREMILYH.