Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Maundy

Today we are about dwelling in the upper room. We can recreate the upper room in our hearts. To we do this, we honor the mandate that Jesus gave us, the new commandment: that we “love one another as I have loved you.” There is nothing new about the love part of that commandment. It is the “as I have loved you” part that makes it a new commandment and so much more challenging. The examples that Jesus gives us today are beyond anything we could ask or imagine. Jesus washes our feet (even Judas’, who is about to betray him) and he dies for us. He gives everything for that love.

In the upper room, Jesus commands that we let him wash our feet, but we respond much like Peter. We could never let Jesus perform such a menial task for us! It is so personal and intimate. We are embarrassed. But Jesus insists. We must let him and others wash our feet. We become vulnerable, powerless, needy, and dependent. We feel both grateful and humble. Somehow, we are exposed.

In the upper room, we join in a meal. We are about breaking bread, community, and sharing. This is no ordinary meal. It points beyond to another meal, the extraordinary meal where bread and wine are blessed and broken in remembrance of Christ. It is a meal that creates community, it is a sharing in the depths of life. It is receiving the real presence of Christ.

The forgiveness journey moves us to dwell in the upper room. We find ourselves with dirty feet and we are powerless to wash them ourselves. We depend on others. We are vulnerable and embarrassed to have such dirty feet. Our dirt is exposed and in the washing we experience great intimacy. We are grateful and humble to be washed clean. Then we join with our brothers and sisters in the great meal. Through it we are made one with God and with each other. Our lives are entwined together in the common presence of Christ. Together, we are brought “out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.” The upper room is a place of holy making.

Holy making is our calling in life. We are called to go out into the world, in union with Christ, and wash the feet of others as well as have our own feet washed, to go out and make an ordinary meal an occasion for fellowship with God, to go out and reveal our hearts to God and reveal the heart of God to others, to go out and make the ordinary, extraordinary.

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