What is Maundy Thursday? The word comes from the Latin ‘Mandatum’ – which means Mandate or Commandment. It refers to the command Jesus gave to His disciples at the Last Supper (John 13:34,35).
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus’ mandate to us is simple: love and serve one another. He modeled it by washing His disciples’ feet – the Master becoming the slave. A humble yet profound act that foreshadows what would come next, when He would give His life for them.
For the disciples, Jesus did the unthinkable act. Only slaves would bow down, roll up their sleeves and wash their dirty, sand-soiled feet. It was a revolutionary act that took them completely by surprise. No wonder, at first, Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet.
Here’s a God who did not just say it, he showed it. (Romans 5:8) His humility and majesty are unmatched. I am once again captured by this clear demonstration of love by my Master. He humbled himself to wash my feet… I have been commanded to do likewise.
‘Who’s dirty feet is God asking me to wash today?’ ‘What do I need to give up for the sake of another?’
Oh, I how I need to die to my self-will, my self-importance, my need to feel validated. I pray this hymn echoes the prayer of your heart, as it does mine.
“Lord take my life and make it wholly Thine Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine Take all my will, my passion, self and pride I now surrender, Lord, in me abide”
I confess. ‘Broken’ is never one of my favorite words. I don’t like broken things, broken promises, broken lives… or be broken, or admit that I am… broken.
But the past few years, it’s the journey God has had me on. To discover, to get in touch, and to be ‘ok’ with my own brokenness. I’ve always wondered why ‘brokenness’ was such an prominent theme in my church. Now I understand. We cannot see or please God if we’re not fully broken before Him. But more about that next time.
As I lean harder into His grace, I become more acquainted with a God that not only understands brokenness, but is broken for us. (Isaiah 53:5)
The Christian faith is often a paradox, a mystery. Try as we might, our limited minds simply cannot wrap around godly ideas or concepts. Thankfully, God has it, and His plans are always good, like Good Friday (read ‘Why Good Friday is good‘). While we might reject it, ridicule it, God’s will stands. And He is still good.
Broken yet made whole. That’s what this 4-min short-film expertly illustrates. Desire to be healed? Acknowledge the One who can bring the ultimate and complete healing to this brokenness we ALL have in our lives.
Will you follow Him?
Will you give him your broken pieces, COME to the God who specializes in making GOOD the broken things?
Confession is good for your soul…but not for your reputation
Too often we put a spotlight on the ‘highs’, the victories, the achievements… And we work hard to keep our mistakes, our faults, our failures hidden.
I’m no different. I struggle with the desire to have a good reputation. I want others to like me. But a good friend once told me leaders are meant to grow publicly. As much as I resist that, I know it’s where God grows me the most… when I live with nothing to prove, nothing to lose, nothing to hide.
By His grace, the Lord led us a team, recently, to come humbly before Him to confess our sins to one another. We followed it up with a blog post that I encourage you to read.
“Dear God, I confess that Your grace is all you need. Your power works best in weakness. So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT)
I saw this simple yet beautiful art piece in the prayer room at our office yesterday.
The little explanation below read: “The NIV version of Psalm 46:10 says: Be still and know that I am God. The Hebrew word for still is ‘Raphah’ which is a causative verb and means to cause yourself to get quiet, to mend by stitching…”
The artist went on to explain how she had initially mistakenly left out the ‘h’ and had to literally repair it by stitching it to the rest of the piece. She adds, ‘I come to God imperfectly, with my mistakes’
My part is simply to ‘Come, just as I am (even with all my mistakes) and be quiet before Him’.
His part is to mend, repair, make whole.
“Lord, I’m still before you…
whisper to me your words of wholeness in my life.
I’m broken… in desperate need of you.”
You too can come to God with all your imperfections, with all your failures, all your mistakes. He wants to ‘stitch’ you up, He wants to heal you, make you whole again.
What comforting words these are last Wednesday morning… as I found myself still feeling the tears and pain of Bataraa’s son passing. It was rather strange…but as I pulled into the gas station to put gas, tears welled up in my eyes. I thought about what they might be going thru right now in Mongolia. I feel like writing him, but I don’t know what to say.
I listened to Tim Keller’s podcast on ‘Worship‘, on my way back (from dropping the kids off at school) I was reminded that it’s really in times like these when it reveals our true worship.
Psalm 95 shows how the psalmist chose to ‘give worth’ to God even in spite of his external circumstances. Which made me ask, how do I grow to see (or make) God bigger in my life? Instead of being caught up with all the twists and turns this life offers.
We all worship something. For me, I’ve been worshipping ‘settling down well’. That’s been my (primary) focus, not God. I can justify it all I want…with good reasons for all I’m doing etc. but the fact remains the as I examine my heart, plus look at the way I’ve been orienting my activities, getting adjusted & comfortable has been my god.
It’s been almost a week since AX returned from the road…. what a journey!
We had our thanksgiving time, and it was for me indeed a good time to praise God for all His wonder-workings in each person’s life. You could hear from each person’s sharing that God met each one where most needed.
And then when you hear reports about how God moved the clouds when His people prayed, and then how He still allowed it rain, so that the students would stay back to listen to the band, you cannot but just marvel at how big God is! Truly, His ways are higher than ours….
Yesterday, we had staff evaluations, and it continued today too…
And yet again, we bear witness to all that God had chosen to do to bring Himself honour & glory. And we all get to participate in doing it!
I personally feel blessed that this TURT presented another chapter God’s lesson plan for my own life this year. This whole 1st half of year 2006 has been about God’s reminder for me to ‘die to self’.
In January– February it was about ‘personal rights’ and ‘personal opinions’
Then in March-June it was about ‘personal choices’, ‘personal preferences’, ‘personal desires’
Thank you Lord, for loving me so much that You personally ‘customize’ a lesson plan for me this year!