Sorry for the long post… but after all, it’s Good Friday!
We had almost as many people last night, as we usually have had at our Maundy Thursday service, even though our numbers have been down so much. Which is good for today, but unfortunate for before, since it is such a beautiful time together.
It was so good that things were not exactly the same as usual, while preserving all of our traditional, meaningful elements–and besides changing it for the sake of not suffering the sadness of remembering the past, it was just an excellent way to do it! Rob is so creative, and always puts so much meaning to things.
We heard a brief message first, and then read scripture and acted it out, with some songs in between. We moved around, following different people carrying the Christ candle: starting at the chapel area at the back of the sanctuary, then to the basins at the foot of the cross at the front, then in a circle around the altar table for communion, and finally back to the chapel area for prayer. Rob gave the message and directed us, Barb led the foot-washing time, we all gave Communion to each other, and Pastor Brian led the prayer time.
As Rob said, Jesus made three provisions for us, at this time of the Last Supper (there was much more to it, this is just what I picked out):
- With the Basin–this was not only an example of service, but a demonstration that Jesus gave His life for our cleansing. It stood out to me this time, how: as well as being willing to serve in ways similar to washing people’s feet, we need to allow others to wash our feet (think of Peter’s protests, at first).
- At the Table–one reason bread is used as a symbol of Jesus’ death, is because it is a source of nourishment for us.
- In the Garden—Prayer… He prayed for us (John 17), and then in Gethsemene He prayed “not my will, but yours be done”. Remember how the disciples kept falling asleep. Jesus told them to “watch and pray”. If we’re not praying, there is a danger that we will sleep/become sleep-walkers, unaware of the needs and opportunities around us, and deceived about evil.
I heard several words throughout the evening, said by various people at different times–just a word–that have been in my mind lately, and served as confirmation and therefore hope:
- forgiveness (“It’s easier to forgive, than to be forgiven…”)
- clear direction
- that others may know
Even though the moments around the foot-washing seem rather sacred, there is a lightness to it, as Barb said. I always love how everyone is sitting around on the altar steps in their bare feet… I expressed a wish for a picture of that, and others agreed with me. Oh well, too late now!