Thursday, April 21, 2011

Maundy Thursday

The Wesley Foundation is an odd and austere gray block building, students nicknamed the church, "the bomb shelter". It was built in the 1970s and designed for the very service we attended tonight: Maundy Thursday. On the exterior, the sides of the building are sloped to mimic the Cup of the Covenant. Meanwhile, the interior contains a focal stage perfectly sized for a long table with seating.

Each year our pastor delivers a message in the fellowship hall and we walk into the chapel, which is lit only by candles. The table is filled with half-eaten Passover food and represents where Jesus and his disciples had celebrated Passover. On this night the Jewish people remember the bitterness of slavery and the greatness of the God who brought them out of Egypt. We are invited to the table to reflect. Walking up and seeing the symbolic half-eaten food we remember the bondage of the Jewish people but also the spiritual bondage of sin.

Our mood is somber as we consider the weight of what happens next in the story. Jesus endured betrayal and Jesus knew his death was necessary to free us from sin, but, he suffered under the weight of that knowledge. (without the comfort of his friends). Then, tomorrow we will remember that Jesus loved us to the very end.

We inherit a great story. The story of God's redemption for everyone. I pray our hearts would be softened and prepared for Good Friday and Easter.

A broken heart
A fount of tears
Ask and it will not be denied
A broken heart love's cradle is
Jesus our Lord is crucified

Let us never allow this story to become hackneyed and stale but always stir our souls.

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