Today is Maundy or “Holy” Thursday. This the day of Holy Week where we remember the betrayal of Jesus Christ and His service to the disciples through washing their feet and His giving to us of the gift of Holy Communion.
If you are in the Jackson area tonight, we’d love to have you experience Maundy Thursday with us at St. Matthew’s at 6 p.m. No matter where you are, I pray that you’ll be able to join with a local congregation for worship these next two nights; as well as Easter Sunday!
Today we read from Mark 14: 17-25:
17 When it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” 22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
In this meal of Holy Communion, Jesus calls many things to mind. But, for me, there are two things that are especially true when I receive Holy Communion.
First is this. What He has done. The bread. The wine (of for us Methodists as well as others grape juice). They call to our minds and to our hearts, what Jesus has done for us. His body was broken. His blood was spilled.
So that you can I could be forgiven for the sins that we often take so trivially. That’s the thing that is always hammered home to me, especially during Holy Week. What He did so that we could be forgiven. What He did so that we could approach God. What He endured for our redemption.
Oh, how lightly I often take that. Oh, how it is so easy to forget His pain. Oh, how I can think so little of sin, and then ask forgiveness like it no big deal.
Oh, this week breaks my heart when I consider the length that our Lord went to, to purchase our salvation. And then how lightly I treat it. May this season be marked upon my soul that I never take my sin lightly. Because Jesus didn’t.
Second. What He will do. We see here that this meal isn’t just a meal of memorial, but it is a meal of celebration. Yes, we must remember what Jesus did to forgive our sins, but that isn’t the end of the story. For one day, He’s coming back and will make all things new. One day He will return, and there will be no more sickness, pain, and death. One day all the pain and suffering will be over, and we will forever be with the Lord.
This isn’t just a meal of memorial, it’s a meal of celebration. Because yes, He suffered to forgive us. But He rose again to free us. To restore us. To save us.
Today, remember. Remember what He has done. But also celebrate. Celebrate what He is doing!
And be it St. Matthew’s or a church wherever it is, find a place to gather with believers in these next few days. It will change your life!