My thoughts and prayers are with you all this Holy week.
Thursday in Holy week (Maundy Thursday – from the latin word for mandate/commandment, because Jesus gives us a new commandment) has always been an important and profound day for many.
Previously I have been deeply moved by remembering, even re-enacting, the last supper, the first communion of believers, where we are joined in the Body of Christ through Christ’s loving giving of himself (agape), united in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Communion for me is deeply significant and this new commandment to ‘do this is remembering me’ is like a divine invitation to be nourished by God and our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ.
I have always found the washing of other’s feet moving, as we remember Christ’s modelling of this servant hearted discipleship and leadership to all of us in the priesthood of believers. This is where we are all invited to serve one another in agape, and I’ve previously felt I receive a lot of my ‘permission’ to lead as a priest in the church, from this occasion.
And I always feel this gathering sets the tone for Good Friday and the beginning of the suffering Jesus enters into on that Maundy Thursday night, as he enters into a garden and begins to pray, only to be met by the powers and principalities of the world. This day reminds us that no matter what we go through, if we have that foundation of love rooted in the church, re-membered through our brothers and sisters being in communion with one another, then we can get through anything… even death!
I know many churches are doing a service on Maundy Thursday, but to do this apart from one another would, I think, feel so wrong that I cannot do it. Hence I am inviting you to make your own ‘agape meal’ this Maundy Thursday night. Remembering Jesus and his friends had simple fare, whatever you have will do – bread and wine would of course be fitting (you could even make your own bread!). Whatever the time and place, make your agape meal, and maybe read and reflect on one of the following readings
1 Corinthians 11.23-25
A typical agape meal is about sharing food and fellowship together, I would invite you to make this a time for reflecting on the idea that we are still united in fellowship with one another, and all Christians around the world, through the Body of Christ.
On Good Friday, I will post a ‘last hour’ reflection on the Facebook group and our website. Feel free to use this, or not, when and how is right for you.
As we journey through to the celebration of Easter Sunday, one thing we might like to do together is to make your own ‘Easter garden’ either in your home or garden. This can be made from natural items or not, as you are able, but typically has some kind of empty tomb or other sign of the absence of death. Please do share pictures with me on Facebook or otherwise, and I will try to incorporate these into our collective worship.
We will have another communion at 10am on Easter Sunday via the app ‘Zoom’, and a bible reflection available later in the day as well. Easter Sunday is obviously a massive cause for celebration, so do consider this an invitation to feast and have a party! When we are able to meet once again together in church, we will have another ‘Easter Sunday’ feast then I think… whenever that is!
Don’t forget to keep praying; there is this prayer leaflet I prepared to help, if it is needed, with many suggestions of other resources and ways of praying.
May you have a blessed Holy Week my friends,
The Peace of the Lord be with you.