Last night I was watching my nieces and nephew, and after they were down for the count I finished up the dishes and opened up my Bible… Or maybe I opened up my web browser because I left me Bible at home. I read John chapters 13 and 14 to dive into what it was like the night before Good Friday.
When I was young I thought Maundy Thursday was sort of silly sounding. Of course, back then I though people were pronouncing it “Monday Thursday.” One of my theories was they were grouping all those days together, Monday thru Thursday, and that’s just what the grown ups were calling it now… to make it spiritual.
It was more recent than I would like to admit that I realized it was actually Maundy Thursday. And even more recently did I seek out what Maundy stood for. Apparently maundy comes from a Latin word, which means ‘a new commandment’ the new commandment Jesus talks about in John chapter 13.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34
It struck me, this is the night when Jesus gave us this ‘new’ command, when he washed his disciples’ feet, when they ate the last supper, when Jesus spoke of what was going to happen. I can almost feel the pit in the stomachs of the disciples, knowing everything was about to change. I would have been freaking out!! I’m not kidding, if I was there, there would probably be a verse that would have said, “and Jesus had to put Rachel in a time out, for she was bewildered and anxious, she also was probably hungry, and a little tired… But her feet were clean.” Or maybe they would have edited that one out.
Of course there is no reason to fret, I know the end of the story! This is also the night when Jesus promises the Holy Spirit. When I came home I was eager to read these chapters again in my Bible, to read the commentary. Instead I grabbed my Grandma Bee’s Bible. A small back story- this particular Bible I believe was the last one she had, and I cannot tell you why but every time I open it I weep. I feel the best way to describe it is overwhelming joy. To flip through the pages and find the things she highlighted, the notes she left, and the small pieces of papers she left in between its pages is like seeing her face, her hands- seeing her faith come alive right before me.
I didn’t even open it intending to read these passages, but as I opened it to the bookmarked page, would you believe it? John 13 and 14, right there. How sweet is that? I got to read my great grandmother’s commentary. And let me tell you, she was all about the Holy Spirit! She has that underlined, exclamation pointed, and marked ‘remember, remember” and “always in my heart.” Don’t worry, I have a pile of kleenex sitting next to me. She even has notes in the back pages, ‘See Holy Spirit in John 14:…. read all of chapter 14” Amongst other things. She was such a neat woman.
I know I will be needing more kleenex as we walk through the next few days. But again, I know it is because of that overwhelming joy that the Lord has given us, His promise of our redemption, His return, and His Holy Spirit to fill our hearts until then.
Until next Thursday,