This time of year, people often ask me where the name for this evening comes from.
The “Maundy” in Maundy Thursday takes its name from the Latin word Maundatum,
from which get our word “Mandate.”
We sometimes use that word, “mandate” is a political sense these days:
If a candidate wins a vote by a large margin,
we say that they have a mandate to pursue their agenda.
And when we draw the word out of this story before us tonight ,
from the Gospel according to John,
we’re talking about the mandate—or agenda—
that Jesus gave to us the night he was betrayed.
Jesus gave a new commandment or mandate that night, and here it is:
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.
Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
By THIS everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you have Love for one another.
And, if you were listening closely, you might have heard that
our passage begins and ends with love.
It’s surrounded by it:
At the beginning we’re told that Jesus,
“having loved his own who were in the world, loved them to the end.”
John begins and ends this self-contained little story with love,
so there’s NO doubt at all that this is what the passage is all about—LOVE.
It’s so easy to say, and so hard to do… [Read more...]