Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday


# Blog
Publish date Published on Thursday, 9 April 2020 09:11
Maundy Thursday

      I have always been incredibly grateful that, when I became a Christian at the age of 13, it was in the Anglican Church that I found myself. It was just after Easter that year that my father was killed in a road traffic accident and that was evident at his funeral as we sang, “When I survey the wondrous cross”.

      Each year since then, in 1965, the events and rituals of Holy Week, in the diverse Anglican Communion, have been particularly meaningful to me. Through the weeks and months that followed my father’s death I was aware of two themes that I think are very pertinent on Maundy Thursday.

      Firstly, the great love of our Heavenly Father, in making us his children, which was so important when I lost my earthly father at a young age. Secondly, the Compassion of Jesus, to all. In the week of his Passion, in the face of his betrayal, by two of his disciples, the weakness of those with him in Gethsemane, the brutality of the Sanhedrin, the Romans and his cruel and at his painful death. Not once did he judge, reject or fight back against his oppressors, he rather forgave, gave hope and accepted his Fathers will, with deep compassion.

      What a day that was for Jesus, the powerful events of Maundy Thursday: the Last Supper in preparation for the Passover, the Washing of the Disciples feet , the betrayal by Judas and Peter, the pleading with his Father in Gethsemane, His arrest and first trial before the Sanhedrin. It must have been exhausting and agonising but still he reflects His Father’s love and His compassion, through it all—to the disciples, the roman soldier and later to the women on the way to the cross, His own mother and even the thief he was crucified with. What a Saviour!

      The liturgies of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, over the years for me have included re-enactments of the Last Supper, Passover meals, The Stripping of the Alter, The Stations of the Cross and Meditations at the Cross, choral presentations of the Messiah. All are so moving and so necessary for me to experience the sadness and sorrow, to fully appreciate the full power and joy of the Resurrection on Easter Day. I cannot imagine going to church on Palm Sunday and then next on Easter Day without these rich and deeply moving events in between.

      These two qualities, God our Father’s unswerving love and the compassion of Jesus are to be our model in every situation. To me, these qualities are at the heart of what and who we are to follow in our Christian journey, as people who have been forgiven and redeemed by these life-changing events.

      It is a time of great hardship and suffering for many this Easter in particular and it’s a perfect time to look at how we can, day-by-day, bear witness to those around us to the Father’s love and Jesus’ compassion. It’s no easy task but then it wasn’t for Jesus either; however, we have the Holy Spirit to mould us and shape us into the people he wants us to be.

      Maybe in these two days you can re-read the four gospel accounts of Jesus death and resurrection. They are all quite different, but all reflect the wonderful news that we are redeemed by what Jesus did for each of us over 2000 years ago.

Matthew Ch 26 – 28, Mark Ch 14 – 16, Luke Ch 22-24 and John Ch 17 – 20.


A Prayer for Maundy Thursday

We pray always to welcome Christ into our hearts and homes,

May we ever be mindful of all He has done for us.

Luke tells us how Jesus forgives even his murderers,

May we always look to Him for forgiveness no matter what we have done in our lives.   

Silence

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.

 

Luke tells too of the good thief, who has not lived a virtuous or fruitful life,

But who asked for forgiveness and was given it.

May we never decide our own lives are beyond forgiveness.

Silence

Blessed is the King , who comes in the name of the Lord.

 

We pray for all victims of injustice who are treated as criminals

When they have done nothing to deserve such treatment.

May those who persecute them own up to the truth and set the prisoners free.

Silence

Blessed is the King, who comes in the name of the Lord.

 

Jesus lived His life for the people this world bypasses,

The poor, the sick, the children, the unemployed, the sinners….

He faced death rather than leave behind the least of the little ones.

Silence

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.

 

May we in our turn find the courage to fight for unpopular causes and unpopular people when justice and compassion invite us.

Silence

Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.

 

Through Jesus death we learn of His great compassion. May we accept that compassion and pass it on to those who hurt us.

In silence we pray for those we love, but also for our enemies.

 

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

 


 Today's blog was written by Sue Jones