By: Margaret Brown
WRITING AFTER Sunday April 8, I look back upon Easter, surprised at how little I knew of the importance of Maundy Thursday in the Christian calendar. On reflection, it seems that this has become the least understood of days by the general public.
Coming between Palm Sunday (Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem) and his crucifixion, it is also known as Holy Thursday among the Anglican Communion.
Not only commemorating the last supper of Jesus and his washing of the Apostles’ feet, but also the giving of bread and wine to each of them as they sat together, with the command: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another”. Thus the foundation of the Eucharist was laid almost 2,000 years ago. Judas, the betrayer, was one of the 12 seated at the table and Christ, knowing already what lay ahead, told him ‘to do what he must do’. Without that betrayal there would have been no crucifixion, no burial, no resurrection and no Christian faith.
After a terrible scourging, questionable trial and nailing to the Cross, the mocking of the crowd and desertion by most of his beloved disciples, Christ died weighed down by the sins of the world. While he did not die in vain, those same sins continued much as before. However, as knowledge of the Gospels spread, it came with a choice: to believe or not to believe. That alternative remains. Judging by the present hardships and needs of the majority of the human race, it seems that over the centuries the message has lost much in the telling.
On Easter Day, in church, baptismal vows are renewed and the sacrament of Confirmation given to suitably prepared candidates. Should we not encourage others to follow the teachings of Christ, and to fight for a better world rather than become spiritual couch potatoes, safe in our comfort zone?
Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]