Today is Maundy Thursday. Neither Maundy Thursday nor foot washing services are a part of this church's tradition. But today, during this prolonged pandemic lockdown, how I wish we were meeting for worship today! How I wish I could wash your feet!
Today is our day of preparation for this weekend. Many people have been working very hard (just as in every church) that we might observe and celebrate this pinnacle of the Christian calendar. I have watched so many people put their hearts into their work for this weekend, it is a beautiful thing to observe. I hope and pray you will enter in, with all your hearts, to worship with us on both Good Friday and Easter. (See the Worship page of this website for details.)
I have two things to share with you as we, this evening, begin our weekend observance. The first is a new song, just released today, by Sarah Kivell of Windsor, which begins where we are, takes us to the Garden with Jesus, and points us to resurrection. Click this link, Garden of Suffering, to hear it (the lyrics are there for you as well.) The second is a poem by the British poet Elizabeth Jennings, The Eternal Cross. It takes us in a very different direction, then also points us to resurrection:
The Eternal Cross
He’ll blossom on the cross
in a few hours now*
The Saviour of the world will die again.
He is the flower upon a hurting bough;
the crown of thorns and nails will give him pain.
But the worst one is how we go on daily wounding him.
And he, although he’s out of time,
still feels the great dark of betrayal.
He’s nailed on a tree each time we fail him.
Suffering won’t abate
until the liberty this God-man gave us
is used only for kindness and gentleness.
Our world is full of dying christs:
the starved, the sick, the poor.
God sleeps in cardboard boxes,
has no meal.
We are his torturer,
each time we fail in generosity,
abuse a child, or will not give our love.
Christ lets us use our fatal liberty against himself.
But now and then one act of selflessness
sets free the whole of mankind.
When his side was pierced,
that spear was how we failed to say we love someone.
But each time tears are dried,
it’s Resurrection Day.
* (the original line reads, "in three weeks now")
May God bless you as you worship him this weekend in prayer, in solitude, in gathering, in caring for one another.