Holy Week: Maundy Thursday... Which Day Is It?

Jon Burgess


Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 1 Corinthains 9:19


Paul had every right to demand a position of honor and payment for his service. Yet, he left entitlement behind, the identity that flows from a title, and instead took on the role of a servant. Paul didn't come demanding he came offering. He didn't ask people to come to him, he went to them. He inconvenienced himself in order to make it as convenient as possible for people from all walks of life to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul preferred people over his own personal preferrences. He left comfort behind to lead as many as possible to Christ.


In the Holy Week calendar today is known as Maundy Thursday. Not having grown up in a traditional liturgical church this title always struck me as funny. It sounded like someone with an English accent found themselves confused about what day it was-"By jove, Is it Maunday or Thursday?" As if this isn't bad enough, I then had the Happy Day's theme start to kick in, "Maunday, Thursday, Happy Days..." Anyhow, apart from an appalling revelation regarding my immaturity, I had realized I'd better do some research to find out what this name was about. Maunday is derived from the Latin word "mandatum" meaning "commandment". It's on this day, Maunday Thursday, we celebrate the greatest commandment of Christ at the Last Supper, "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 13:34). Jesus didn't just say this to this to His disciples, He showed this. Jesus took the servants apron, wrapped it around his waist and knelt down to wash what were sure to be some of the dirtiest and stinkiest feet around. In his letter to the Corinthian believers, Paul was simply taking a cue from Jesus when he "made himself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible." Love goes out of its ways to show the way of Jesus. Love lowers itself to lift up the other person. Pastor Wayne often says, "when following Jesus we don't graduate FROM serving we graduate TO serving." So, whose feet have I been avoiding? Whose stink have I refused to scrub? Whose the one person I avoid rather then going out of my way to serve? Who have I stopped serving because they were not thankful or honoring of my sacrifice?


Over 2000 years later Lord and we still don't know waht to do with You! The God of the Universe becoming the servant of all? The One who holds solar systems now holding dirty feet? Even with this amazing example we still crave power and position rather then taking the position of the servant. Much like the Jews in the Gospels, we would have preferred if You had come and conquered by forces and fear. Instead you quietly conquer the soul through service and sacrifice in a way that makes us all quite uncomfortable. You washed our feet and then gave Your life. You became a slave to all to "win as many as possible" that we could be set free from slavery to sin. Then, You call us to do the same. I realize on this Maunday Thursday, I can't save anyone's soul, but I can wash feet. I can't do what You have done on the Cross, but because of what You have done on the Cross there is much for me to do. You save. I serve.

Devotions for March 24

Joshua 18,19,20
1 Corinthians 9

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