Loving the Hard to Love: What is Maundy Thursday Anyway?
UNHURRY HACK: Being unlovable steals a lot of energy & room in our heart. Jesus leads us and empowers us to love even the unlovable through his servant heart.
Luke 22:19-20 (ESV)
19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood
Do you know anyone who is hard to love? Of course, we all do. And at first it would seem that it is their fault that they are so hard to love. After all, they are the ones driving us crazy, right? If they just didn’t have that annoying habit, then I could love. If they just treated me better, then I could love. If they were willing to see things my way, then I could love. Lord, I am trying to follow your commands, but look what I have to work with here? How can I love these people, when sometimes I don’t even like them? Let’s be honest here, in the crevices of even the most loving heart, there’s a little of that yuck in there. So how can we love the unlovable?
Let’s journey back for a moment back to the Upper Room where Jesus shared a Passover meal with his disciples. Many Jews had traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover festival, but Jesus knew this supper would be his last. Jesus took bread, gave thanks to God, then broke it and said, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” After supper he took supper he took wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people-an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you (Luke 22:19-20)” Under this new covenant, Jesus would die in the place of sinners.
On the Thursday before his death on the cross, Jesus told us how to love. He gave us a mandate, or commandment, to follow when it comes dealing with people. The word “command” comes from the Latin word, mandatum. A shortened form of this word is “maundy,” which is where we get the term, “Maundy Thursday.” This commemorated day takes place on the Thursday before Easter. So on this important “mandate day,” as I like to call it, what did Jesus say?
It was on this very evening, in that very room, that Jesus washed the feet of some of those very sinners. With a servant heart, Jesus humbly began to wash his disciples’ feet, dirty feet of those who didn’t feel worthy. Jesus told his disciples, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you (John 13:15).” He continued, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34 NIV).
How can we love others, even the hard to love? Learn the role of a servant’s heart that Jesus modeled for us. As we learn Christ’s love, Jesus gives us the capacity to love and serve like he did.
None of us are worthy to be loved like Jesus loves us. We are hard to love, we don’t always treat him well, and we probably drive him a little crazy at times, yet in Jesus Christ’s perfect patience and love, he gives us nothing less.
How is it that I cannot show that kind of patient love to others as you are patient with me Jesus? I am not worthy to be washed clean by you. Yet as my King, you took the role as humble servant when you took my place on the cross. Teach me your love for others.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, teach me your mandate to love others as you love me. It doesn’t always come naturally for me. Lord, you know that person I struggle to love today. With the love shown to me by you Jesus, teach me to love others with a servant’s heart. Let me love others with your love today. In Jesus Name, Amen