Today is one of my favorite days in the liturgical life of the church. Tonight at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles we’ll have a service at 7 pm, but I’m well aware that only a few will show up and most people couldn’t explain Maundy Thursday if their last Communion wafer depended on it. But for many of us, myself included, everything about our faith is can be found in the meaning of this day.
The word Maundy means commandment, an allusion to that night when Jesus shared the Passover with his friends, and then during the meal began washing their road-weary feet. His humble act of service – some were even offended by it – captured the essence of this life.
He summarized the entire evening by saying: “I give you a new commandment. Love one another as I have loved you.”
To me this is faith. It’s about showing up in the world. It’s about trying to be of service to others. What that looks like or feels like depends upon the circumstances of the day. Some days are better than others. But this is it. Showing up. Being of service.
Take a Breath today. It’s Maundy Thursday. It’s a holiday that never made it into the liturgical top ten. But in many ways, dare I say it, for those of us trying to be Christian, it might just be the most important day of the year.