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March 28

Thursday, March 28th, 2024

“What in the world is Maundy Thursday?” That was my incredulous question to someone when he mentioned Maundy Thursday.

Backstory: I grew up and subsequently preached in a church tradition that was not a denomination (least they said they weren’t). We didn’t and still don’t celebrate special days (except Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and other holidays) or saints or creeds. All I knew growing up was my Catholic friends ate fish, not meat, on Friday, but I had no clue why. I never knew about Lent, saints, creeds, and certainly not Maundy Thursday.

Until a few years ago. I was looking into the history of Lent and church practices when I heard about this thing called Maundy Thursday. Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum or “command.” The command being commemorated was the one Jesus gave His followers the night before He died: “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (Jn.13:34 NLT)

I have also learned that the royal family began giving gifts to people in need as far back as the 13th century on Maundy Thursday. Do they still carry on that tradition? I don’t know. (Maybe you do?)

Maundy Thursday is today in the Christian world. The day before Good Friday. Think about this for a moment. Jesus gave the command to His followers to love as He loved.  A day later in an act of pure love and selflessness, He showed His love by dying on a cross for sins He never committed. “There is no great love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (Jn. 15:13 NLT). So He spoke; so He lived loved. 

I’m still not too sure about this thing called Maundy Thursday. I’m still not convinced about the need to make a special day of it. But it does beg the question: How are you going to show love this Easter season? One went to a cross. We are not/may not be asked to go to that extreme, but are you willing to give yourself away in service to another?

April 10

Monday, April 10th, 2023

We experienced yesterday what probably most churches in America experienced-a swell in attendance. It was good to see. Honestly, I used to “pick” at those who are called C & E Christians. That’s Christmas and Easter for those of you who may not know.

Not any more. I am glad just to see people. There are several reasons for that:

  1. With the advent and further use of live streaming, many who were there yesterday watch each week from home. It was good to see them, but I know they are “attending” by watching.
  2. There were some who were there because mom or dad invited them.  Yeah for mom and dad! 🙂
  3. There were some who were there because a friend saw an opportunity to use the open door of a holiday.
  4. There were some who were there because some traumatic event has happened and they are trying to make sense of it all and are searching for answers.
  5. There were some who may have been there out of curiosity.

I love the last 4 especially because it is an opportunity to give them hope by talking about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I may only get this one shot to share the love of Jesus with them.

Resurrection Sunday also gives another conundrum. What about next Sunday? Let’s shorten the time frame. What about today or tomorrow? Will we go back to life as usual or will we allow the truth, the life-changing experience of the resurrection to change the way we live and operate our daily lives? Christian writer, Sam Allberry wrote: “Many Christians, while believing in the resurrection and rehearsing that belief every Easter Sunday, effectively stick it back in the drawer for the rest of the year because they are at a loss of what to do with it.” (Quoted in Hope in Times of Stress by Timothy Keller- p.xxi)

That is a seriously important quote to consider. All the talk, all the sermons, all the banter about the Resurrection is meaningless if life is not different on the inside.

Take on the challenge to allow the truth of the Resurrection to change how you operate-with God and with people.

He’s Alive!

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. It is not quite the Resurrection Sunday celebration we were anticipating that’s for sure.  The past few years we have had one service at a local venue (Abram Farm) that allowed us to be all together as one church family. This year was already going to be different due to the company that normally did our sound having to beg off this year. So, in spite of the graciousness of Bill & Suzie Abram, the owners of the venue, we were going to have two services at our building.

Then COVID-19 happened. Suddenly, we went from Abram Farm to our church building to a virtual celebration. But there is a great lesson here! The grave could not contain Him. What in the world would make us think a virus could? So we celebrate anyway. Virtually.

More could be said. But I’m not going to belabor the point. So I say, “Celebrate! Jesus is alive in our hearts. He is alive in our worship. He is alive seated at the right hand of His Father. Celebrate!”  I’d like ask you to listen to an old song. In my mind, one of the best Easter songs you don’t even know by my favorite Christian group of all time.