Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 44
No doubt, there’s a direct theological connection between today’s Exodus and Luke readings. Exodus describes the institution of the first covenant, Passover—a lamb is sacrificed and its blood saves Israel (Ex 12:11-14). Luke describes the institution of the new covenant, Eucharist—Jesus, the Lamb of God, is sacrificed and his blood saves the world (Lk 22:14-20). Notice what’s not in these passages: Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. That passage (from John’s Gospel) will be narrated and enacted at today’s Maundy Thursday services. However, both foot-washing and last supper reveal something unique about Jesus’ identity. He’s the servant. He comes not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many (Mk 10:45). Now, it’s easy for us Episcopalians to over-ritualize the sacraments. We forget that the sacraments call us to become servants like Jesus, like God. We forget that they challenge us to reorder our lives so that our lives are about picking up our crosses and dying with God. We may not want to die, let alone die with God. But If God is willing to serve us and die for us, and God is greater than us, then it means that death is not beneath our status. In fact, to not die with God is to imply we are somehow better than God. Therefore, this Maundy Thursday, as we witness the washing of feet and the serving of the Lord’s Supper, let’s reorder our lives to reflect that we are servants. Let those of us who are great become young, and those of us who are leaders, become servers. Because God is among us as one who serves (Lk 22:26-27).
Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, did institute the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may thankfully receive the same in remembrance of him who in these holy mysteries giveth us a pledge of life eternal, the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.