“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12
Maundy Thursday, so named because we remember the mandate of Jesus to love one another, is usually a day of reflection and action, meeting and eating together, or participating in an activity like foot-washing, and in Holy Communion. It’s painful that we can’t do most of those things this time.
However, this does not mean that we can’t fulfil Jesus’ command. The apostles were often in prison, particularly Paul, but they continued to trust God and to pray, and to send out letters of teaching and greeting, which helped the first churches and continue to inspire us.
One famous feature of today is the giving of Maundy money by the Sovereign. This year the Queen is unable to do this publicly , but on the first day of Holy Week, she addressed the nation [viewed by over 24 million and counting], without any hype, negativity or hysteria, but with a calm message of thanksgiving and compassion, reminding us that we had overcome previous dark times together, and encouraging us, that we will come through this, that there is hope for the future. Her Majesty is almost 94!
So to our older readers, I want to say this: you may not be able to do as much as you did, and your isolation restrictions are greater because of age and vulnerability, but you are loved and valued for who you are, for the wisdom you have, for the prayers and encouragement you share, and for the love you have poured in over many years of Christian discipleship.
To those who are younger, thank you for all you are doing to keep people informed, to share social messages and videos, and to care for those in need. You are also much loved and appreciated. Tomorrow, on Good Friday, we will think deeply about the love shown by Jesus on the Cross, and although it is a solemn day, it is rightly called Good, because of the redemption won by Jesus, which can be received by all who will believe.. On Saturday, we might think about the harrowing of hell, and spend time in quiet…..but EASTER SUNDAY IS COMING!
God bless you and keep you.