Tonight, at our Maundy Thursday service, I felt as if this season of Lent had come full circle – for me. All during Lent I encouraged my flock to carry a nail with them – on their keychain, in their pocket, or in their purses. A nail to remind us to pray and meditate on the things that had been nailed to the cross with Jesus. Things like our pain, our brokenness, our sorrows, our fears, death, evil, sin…just to name a few!
But tonight I realized that this entire season is about GIVING! As I heard scripture read that reflected Jesus’ words to his disciples on the last night he was to spend with them, I heard about giving….”This is my body given for you…” This is my blood of the new covenant, given for you and for many….” Then we read the Gospel of John that tells that also that night, Jesus took off his robe and put a towel around his waste and again, he gave. He gave his time. He gave his service. He gave himself. He gave his unconditional love.
He gave everything, even when he knew, as scripture tells us, that one would betray him! We know that they all eventually betrayed him – seems to be a pattern with humanity. He gave and continued to give until it seemed as if there was no more to give. Not to the world anyway.
Although we know that the resurrection is coming, those who loved him couldn’t grasp that idea, even though Jesus had told them he would rise on the third day. So, after the “First Supper” (as my Lutheran friend Rev. Guillory pointed out) all they knew, all they remembered was how Jesus gave.
He gave the bread and wine and told them to remember him each time they ate together. He gave of himself when he washed their dirty feet – a task only the lowest of slaves would have done – and told them to love others in that same way. He gave and then asked them to give.
As Jesus went to the cross, it appeared to many that he had given up. In reality, he was just giving more.
May we also go and do the same.