Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Prayer for Holy Thursday 2013

“Holy God, by the example of Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, You taught us the greatness of true humility, and call us to watch with Him in His Passion.  Give us grace to serve one another in all lowliness, and to enter into the fellowship of His suffering; in His name and for His sake.  Amen.”  UM Book of Worship #349

The Scriptures also remind us that on this night before His betrayal and arrest, Jesus issued this “new commandment”: “that you love one another as I have loved you.”  Needless to say, this is a very tall order even for Christians because it means that whether we “like” someone, perhaps a fellow member of our church, we are nevertheless required (the Latin translation of commandment is “mandatum”, as in “mandate”) to love them.  This does not necessarily change the way we may feel about any individual without grace in our own hearts, of course, but it does change what we are “allowed”.  Those who insist they will not “do” for someone they do not even “like” are in direct violation of Christ’s commandment!  And it must be noted that “grace” does not excuse or allow a willful violation of Jesus’ direct words.  Where is it written that we are ever “saved” from obeying our Lord??

Together as the Church, the Body of Christ, let us rise above our human tendencies and strive to be more and more like Messiah Himself as we continue in these final days of our Lord’s journey, the journey that will take Him to His death; a death He prayed to be relieved from (“Father, take this cup from Me”), but a death He nevertheless chose to endure (“Yet, not My will but Yours”).

Doing the right thing is not always easy, but doing the righteous thing almost always goes against the culture we know so well.  Jesus never said it would be easy, but He promised it will be worth it in the end when others come to know of our love for one another, and through that love, come to know our Lord.


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