My Grandpa was the lead Pastor in the church I grew up in. I really loved him and his leadership but one of his weaknesses was that he never missed an excuse to hold a church service.
Twice on Sunday and every Wednesday evening just wasn't often enough to purge all the evil out of our souls. When Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Good Friday rolled around, we couldn't just enjoy the holiday without spending a couple hours in church. Even the annual 4th of July picnic needed at least ten to fifteen minutes of scripture reading and reflections.
Several years ago I discovered a day that I had never heard of: Maundy Thursday is the evening when many people go to church and remember the Last Supper that Jesus had with His disciples. When I first heard of this day I immediately thought of my Grandpa and thought that there was no way that he could have known about Maundy Thursday; because if he had, we most certainly would have spent every Thursday evening, before Easter, sitting in church.
My understanding of Maundy Thursday is that it is a day to remember Christ's example of washing His disciple's feet and giving us His commandment to "love one another". It's an opportunity to reflect on the call to serve those around us with loving service.
This year a group of pastors, who have been meeting together bi-weekly for prayer, are joining together to offer anyone in the Kalona community a free cup of coffee on Maundy Thursday. We wanted to offer the people of this community an opportunity to enjoy a cup of coffee and connect with a local pastor if they want to. Mostly we would like for the people in this community to know that they are loved and this is a small way of trying to communicate that.
It strikes me that being the church is often more important than doing church and I think my Grandpa would agree. He was also a man who lived his life in the service of others and that is precisely the message of Maundy Thursday.
I invite you to celebrate Maundy Thursday by doing something kind for another person to let them know that they are loved. Wash their proverbial feet by taking on a task that nobody would generally volunteer for, just to make their life better for a few moments.
Be the church tomorrow!
My prayer this week is: "Lord soften our hearts for the needs of those around us. Help us to humble ourselves and choose service over selfishness, compassion over callousness, and affection over apathy."