Covenants Require Blood (Maundy Thursday)

Biblical Texts: Exodus 24:3-11, Hebrews 9:11-22, Matthew 26:17-30

Maundy Thursday is the night where Christ gave his disciples the meal we celebrate as the Lord’s Supper. It is also the night that he washed his disciples feet and gave them a new command. That new command was to love one another and is where the Maundy comes from, the latin Mandatum (think mandate.) There are other Christian traditions that focus on those latter two, but I’ve always titled to the sacrament. In the full service I pull out the full versions of some elements that get compressed or skipped in a regular service. We do a confessional address and a long form of confession and absolution. It is a full examination of ourselves before we receive. We “pass the peace” which is not just some hippy leftover (although it is usually that), it stands at the place where Jesus would say if you have something against your brother leave your sacrifice and go make peace with him. Then come back. We make peace with our brothers and sisters before receiving. And at the end of the liturgy we strip the altar and it is left there cold and bare in an empty upper room. So what you have recorded here is the readings and the sermon, but it is one of those nights where the liturgy carries more of the story. That isn’t to say the work is not put in or that the preaching is unimportant. It is. It is just to say that Holy Week services are something different. Something you can’t even begin to capture digitally.

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