Celebrating Maundy Thursday

Over 2,000 years ago, a group of 12 guys gathered with their leader to celebrate the tradition of Passover. This time, it seemed a little different. His teachings had become very intense as of late. They met in a stranger’s home, and ate together. I am sure it was like most of their dinners: some guys cutting up, some talking about Jesus’ latest miracle, Peter sticking his foot in his mouth.  Jesus, being in the moment, but understanding eternity had to find their conversations entertaining. Yet this dinner took on a new form. Jesus started referring to one of these twelve betraying him. Then called one of them out. He took the bread and the wine renaming them as his body and his blood, which would be poured out for them. After dinner Jesus took on the form of a servant. He got up out of his seat and wrapped a towel around his waist. He performed such a lowly and loving task, and washed his disciples feet.  This was not a normal Passover feast, something was about to happen, something that would change the world forever. The price of sin was about to be paid. Their teacher, their friend, was going to give his life so that we could all live.

March 24, 2016 our church gathered in homes all over town to celebrate this tradition that Jesus began on that night. Some of our homes had groups of people who we knew very well. Some of our groups had rooms with people with whom we were barely acquainted. All of us gathered under one name and with one purpose. We are his church, and we came to worship the One who gave his life so that we could live.

Each group that met had a unique way of how the evening played out. Some hung out together for a while, eating snacks or dinner before they transitioned into a time where they focused on that Passover celebration. A few of our groups from the moment you arrived went straight into a focused intentional worship. We had groups that served the Lords supper with their family, and others did it corporately. We saw people wash each other’s feet, and had people praying for each other.

As I have had the privilege of speaking with individuals from each group, I have heard words like beautiful, moving, fun, sweet, intimate, and of course because it’s our church, kid’s everywhere! I know that this year was different for us, and for some we were excited, because we like change, and for some we love having our traditions and missed the old. I love that all of the groups seemed to have embraced the opportunity that we had to try something new. I heard on multiple occasions, I just wish I could have gone to everyone’s house. I am thankful that I get to serve in a church where we are always open to following where we sense the Lord leading, even when it’s different.

On Palm Sunday, Josh asked us to jump into the story, and read it as if we were there. Personally, I loved having people in our home. I tried to imagine what it would be like to have been there that night. In someone’s home listening to Jesus share with his friends. As we gathered and had dinner, I just sat back and listened to some of the conversations that we were having. I tried to imagine what the disciples would have talked about.  As we worshiped through the Lord’s Supper, I tried to imagine the pain that Jesus must have felt, as he tried to explain the giving of His body and His blood for them. I left that night in awe of His sacrifice, and wanting to share it with whoever would listen. The next days I tried to stay in the story, as difficult as Friday and the silence of Saturday was, Sunday made it worth it. We serve a Living God. He is alive and therefore our relationship with Him is living and active. Thank you God for inviting us to be a part of your family and for allowing us to have a church family here in Auburn, AL that helps us grow in our relationship with You.