Jesus sent off Peter and John with these instructions; “Go and get the Passover meal ready for us to eat.” Luke 22:8
Maundy Thursday is a busy day. Traditionally in the Church Year an Agape meal is celebrated and then the congregation moves into the Church and participates in a service called Washing of the Feet which finishes with the “stripping of the Altar” where everything is stripped out of the Sanctuary leaving it bare, stark, and dark.
When you look at the day Jesus had on the original Maundy Thursday – it was a busy one. Setting up a Passover meal involves a fair bit of work, then during this meal Jesus washed the Disciples feet, he also ‘preached’ a fairly long sermon (check out John 13-16), predicted Peter’s denial, settled an argument and instituted the Lord’s Supper more commonly known now as Holy Communion. From there after singing some hymns, he and the disciples went out into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray and where Jesus was betrayed and arrested.
It was a full on hectic time. For the last few years this has been the same for us – with helping set up Agape Meals and either running or participating the the service that follows.
This year we have none of that. Like the sombre empty Sanctuary all the normal Easter accretions have been stripped away. However Jesus is still here, Jesus still communicates with us through the Bible, through the Holy Spirit, through the miracles He continues to perform – two we have so far seen this year is rain to put out the bushfires and rain to nourish the earth.
So as we move gently and reflectively into Easter this year without the rush of the usual shopping chaos or the normal Church services, let us fix our eyes upon Jesus and look deep in HIs wonderful face.
Rev Steve Neuhaus
Eagles Rest Ministries