Holy Thursday April 17, 2014
Holy Thursday the day Jesus celebrated the last supper with his disciples. On a day set aside by the Jewish people for the retelling of the story of the liberation of the Israelite s from slavery in ancient Egypt.
Ten Plagues: Blood of a Lamb / Doorpost:
From the book of Exodus we hear the command that Moses and Aaron are to tell the Whole Community of Israel. God helped the Children of Israel escape from slavery in Egypt by inflicting ten plagues upon the ancient Egyptians before Pharaoh would release his Israelite slaves. The tenth and worst of the plagues was the death of the Egyptian first-born. To help the Israelite’s escape this tenth plague, a year old lamb without blemish was to be slaughtered and it’s blood applied to the two door posts and the lintel of each house.
Seder Meal — the Night Every Fist born struck down:
On this night, I will go through Egypt striking down every first born of the land, both man and beast. This day shall be a memorial feast for you. It is called the Seder meal and is to be remembered, shared and celebrated with pilgrimage to the Lord, as a perpetual institution.
We hear in the Letter from Paul to the Corinthians, what I received from the Lord I handed on to you. Do this in remembrance of me until the day the Lord comes in glory. Paul was confronting difficulties which had arisen within the Corinthian community. Rival factions were excluding the poor from the Eucharist in the place of the more wealthy and influential. Elitism had penetrated the Corinthians community. Elitism was preventing the wealthy and influential from sharing the sacred Eucharist with the downtrodden, the poor, the stranger and the outcast.
There was a young engaged couple who were to soon be married. They each had a serious problem the other knew nothing of.
The young man was very concerned that if his bride discovered he had such stinky feet she would not sleep in the same room. He approached his Father and asked for advice. His father suggested he wash his feet each night and then put on socks before he went to bed.
The young lady was also concerned that her husband would refuse to sleep in the same room with her if he discovered how stinky her morning breath was. She asked her mother for advice. Her mother told her to develop a habit of waking up early before her husband to prepare breakfast and on the way go to the bathroom and brush her teeth before he got out of bed.
For the first six months of their married life things went along smoothingly. Then one restless night of tossing and turning the young husband woke up at 4 AM and discovered he lost one of his socks in the night. As he frantically searched the bed for this lost sock, he bumped his wife, who awoke, sat up and asked him. What in heaven are looking for? He replied, Oh my, you swallowed my sock!
All use us have some hidden stinky business about us. For some, it’s our feet, others our breath and for others it’s our pride. Today our Lord calls each calls us to love one another even tough we each suffer from one form of stickiness or another.
If we are not careful stinkiness can penetrate our own church. We are called to reflect upon how inclusive we really are to the people of our community and to strangers. Those who hold positions of control and influence are called to reflect and ascertain that they themselves have not become an impediment to the inclusion of Gods people.
Jesus Took a Towel – Basin – Water – Got down on His knees:
In the Gospel Jesus handled two stinky problems. Jesus took a towel and wrapped it around his waist, poured water into a basin and began washing his disciples feet. Jesus models for us the role of a true servant.
1st We hear Peter object, “Master are you going to wash my feet? You will never wash my feet! Stinky! Unless I wash your feet, you will have no inheritance with me! – Master then wash me head to toe. 2nd Jesus washes of Judas’s feet which sends a powerful spiritual message. Jesus washed the feet of all his disciples. Jesus did not exclude Peter for his stinky pride or his betrayer Judas. We are called to ponder whose feet we would exclude?
If I wash your feet ………… God became servant:
Do you realize what I have done for you??? If I, the Master, wash your feet, then you should wash each others feet. He came to as the Son of God to be a servant, he suffered and died giving his whole body and blood leaving us an example that we might follow in his footsteps. We are each called to wash the feet of another – yes even those who have stinky feet, stinky breath and stinky pride.