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   Our Lenten journey is underway. We began with a warm and meaningful Ash Wednesday service at Cedar Cliff UMC. The next worship service in the rotation of our joint Lenten/Easter services will be Maundy Thursday here at Mt. Hermon on March 24.

   On Maundy Thursday, we revisit the final days of Jesus’ time with the disciples before his crucifixion and resurrection. The word “maundy” comes from the Latin “novum mandatum,” meaning “new commandment.”

   The scriptural account from the Gospel of John tells of the final meal that Jesus shared with the disciples, during which Jesus washes their feet. More than a remembrance of the Last Supper, the focus of Maundy Thursday is really the footwashing. When Jesus, the Lord and Teacher, assumes the position of servant to wash the disciples’ feet, he establishes a new order and gives them the new commandment heralded by the prophet Jeremiah generations before. 

   The new commandment he gives the disciples is to love one another as he has loved them. And the way he has loved was to wash the feet of all the disciples, including Peter and Judas, both the one who pledged never to deny him and the one who betrayed him. This humble, obedient act of care for both the lovable and not so lovable is how Jesus teaches the new commandment.

   Has it made a difference to us? How will we respond? Jesus’ humility and obedience led to his crucifixion and resurrection. What does it look like for us to lay down our lives so that our neighbors—whether in the next seat, next door, down the road, downtown, or around the world—might be raised up to new life?

   The journey to the cross is a challenging one, but Easter joy is coming!

Blessings,

Pastor Jane