Yes, I know it’s a bit premature to have the Queen handing out Maundy money, but each month I write a new acrostic for my WordPress site homepage. For April, I decided to give Maundy Thursday some attention – it is one of the lesser appreciated dates in the church calendar.
It commemorates the last supper, when Jesus gave his famous command (‘mandatum’) to the disciples – And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34). This is more than just an isolated command, however, as Jesus instructs his disciples more generally on how to continue after he has gone.
Imagine, your leader sends you out to take on the might of the Roman empire, and the only weapons he gives you are love, remembrance and humility.
Meeting for Passover one final time,
A sacrifice awaiting a traitor’s crime,
Upstairs, a haven from the fickle crowd,
Night wrapped you tight in its ink black shroud.
Dipping your matzah in the blood red wine
You became quick branches in the Saviour’s vine.
Take, eat of my body, drink of my blood
He commanded. How little you understood;
Uneasily, you let him wash your feet.
Remembrance, from now, would be bittersweet –
Suffering in joy, receiving in giving,
Death to self as a way of living.
A final command, ever old and ever new –
You were to love one another as He had loved you.