Maundy Thursday 2022 (Thankful Thursday #73)
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Thankful Thursday #73
I am so thankful for so many things everyday.
I love this time of year. The earth is waking up from Winter and color is being placed all over with beautiful blooming flowers and trees. A sign from God that things once dead are alive again. What a symbolic way to bring in Easter. I have always loved Easter. Christmas can be emotional with commercials of people being good to each other and the whole reason for the season is very special to our hearts. A new baby brings hope and innocence and Jesus's birth meant exactly those things.
Easter is an even more emotional time for me than Christmas. The thought that God sacrificed His son for our sins and what Jesus went through, especially in the days leading to His crucifixion, is just an overwhelming feeling. Good Friday is a day when thinking of the torture Jesus went through. Maundy Thursday has always touched my heart in special ways. Anyone with a heart feels compassion for someone who is terminally ill and having to prepare loved ones for what is to come. The last words stay with those loved ones.
Thinking about what this day was like for Jesus is what grabs my heart. He has the Last Supper with His disciples and leaves them with the commandment, "A new command I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." ~John 13:34 He goes on to wash the feet of His disciples. Peter felt Jesus was above washing his feet, but Jesus told him, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." ~John 13:8 Peter responds to wash his hands, feet, and head. He offered his whole self.
Knowing what was going to happen the following day, Jesus was teaching humility, to think of others before themselves. I think this is why this day stands out to me. As a human, Jesus knew the pain and torture He was about to endure. Even so, He was still putting others before Himself.
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these." ~Mark 12:30-31
Maybe this stands out to me because I need the reminder. I have many faults and probably my biggest is having hard feelings for those who hurt me or my loved ones. I am the most loyal, giving, and loving person and I am more likely to take up for someone else than myself, but I know that is not what I am supposed to do. We do have an armor of God and we should wear it daily. Many have had to fight in the Bible for good, but God tells us to love each other and turn the other cheek. If we want grace and forgiveness, then, we should be able to forgive and give grace to others.
I think this is the greatest commandment because the others fall on ourselves. They are acts we ask forgiveness for. If someone else does something to us, then it is up to God to forgive that person, not us. Having bad feelings or hate in our hearts hurts our soul and relationship with God. It is something I work on and fail many times, but it is also human to feel hurt and anger. These were the words Jesus wanted to leave with His disciples. The example they were to go by as they brought people to God. We are disciples also and I think today, and everyday, those are the words and the example we are supposed to set for others.
This world has always had times of chaos and uncertainty, but I believe even more so today than ever before. I also think it's more important than ever that we bring as many people to God as we can. God created each of us with our own purpose, but the common goal is for Him. As I think about today and the chaos and uncertainty that Jesus felt, He also knew who His Father is and where He was going after His time on earth. Because of His sacrifice, and defeat over death by paying for our sins, we all have the same promise of an eternity with the One who created us and only wants the best for us.
I am thankful for many things. Knowing God loves me, and each of you, with our faults and extends us grace that exceeds all expectations is an amazing feeling. As we go into this season of renewal and rebirth we have a chance every day to renew our relationship with God and His forgiveness gives us a fresh, clean start.
"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love."