A Lenten Journey: The Wilderness Trail — Day Forty-Four, Maundy Thursday

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John 13:1-17, 31b-35, The Living Bible

Jesus knew on the evening of Passover Day that it would be his last night on earth before returning to his Father. During supper the devil had already suggested to Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that this was the night to carry out his plan to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. And how he loved his disciples! So he got up from the supper table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his loins, poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him.

When he came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Master, you shouldn’t be washing our feet like this!”

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now why I am doing it; some day you will.”

“No,” Peter protested, “you shall never wash my feet!”

“But if I don’t, you can’t be my partner,” Jesus replied.

Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well—not just my feet!”

Jesus replied, “One who has bathed all over needs only to have his feet washed to be entirely clean. Now you are clean—but that isn’t true of everyone here.”For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After washing their feet he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Master’ and ‘Lord,’ and you do well to say it, for it is true. And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow: do as I have done to you. How true it is that a servant is not greater than his master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends him. You know these things—now do them! That is the path of blessing.


As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “My time has come; the glory of God will soon surround me—and God shall receive great praise because of all that happens to me. And God shall give me his own glory, and this so very soon. Dear, dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! Then, though you search for me, you cannot come to me—just as I told the Jewish leaders.

“And so I am giving a new commandment to you now—love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Love leads to
partnership
as well as
salvation.

And love will be
the mark of
the true church.

Not numbers,
not programs,
not theology,
not doctrine,
not music style,
not potluck meals,
Sunday school,
or Bible studies.

No.

Love.

And Love will be 
the surest
and truest
means of evangelism
in the history
of the world.

Not spiritual laws,
not waylaying strangers,
not confrontation,
not finger-pointing,
not Bible-thumping.

No.

Love.

Only.

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Comments

  1. Gwen Acres says:

    I wish this could be read by every Christian in the world!!

    • Thank you, Gwen. I guess I do, too. Not because they’re my words, but because they’re true and so often overlooked or ignored.

      • Gwen Acres says:

        Oh yes, Diana! There is so much judgement and law making going on. It divides and marginalizes people. It creates burdens of guilt and shame. Grace and love bring us life and hope! The church should be in the business of sharing the Love of God. He will take care of the rest. Thank you for being a beacon of Light!

  2. Sometimes love is hard. It can look like correction, discipline, speaking the truth even when it hurts. In these cases what the child (I’m thinking parental love here) wants is sappy love. Didn’t Bonhoeffer write something about this in Cost of Discipleship, even though his term was grace, cheap grace?
    But you’re right about love winning, and some of the elements you say “not” to are where love is best shown. Potlucks and Bible studies for instance can offer grace and space for love to grow.
    Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds…
    God is love, and his love is what we all need!
    I know I do!
    Loving you, Diana. Thanks for a moment to think and write.

  3. It sound so simple: “They will know you are my disciples by your love.” We can do that, right? Then we get our feelings hurt, we disagree on everything from theology to paint colors for the sanctuary, our personalities grate against each other, etc., etc. Lord, help us! Thank you, Diana, for sharpening our focus on this important facet of our faith: to demonstrate love one to another–whether we feel like it or not!

  4. Gwen Acres says:

    I just read this again Diana. I love these words. Love is the answer. It brings everything else into focus. It is the filter we need to use when looking out into the world. And when looking inward at our own hearts.

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