Call to Worship Blessed be the LORD, from everlasting and to everlasting; and let all the people say, “Amen!” Psalm 106:48
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. I John 4:7-9
Contemplation On Maundy Thursday we remember the last evening Jesus shared with His disciples in the upper room before His arrest and crucifixion. The name “Maundy Thursday” comes from the Latin mandatum novum, referring to the “new commandment” Jesus taught his disciples. In John 13, Jesus says, “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. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So yesterday I got schooled one more time in all the things I already know in my head, but I got reminded of it in living and breathing multi-color. This had been a rough, rough week; chaos was reigning in the classroom even though I was running in continual reevaluation and readjustment mode, so I was quite resolved to walk into the day firm, pleasant, and quite full of consequences.
As we headed into a fairly simple ten-question, one-word answer quiz focusing on reading comprehension, I clutched a big black marker. Anyone who talked during the quiz was going to get a big black “X” on their paper. It took me twenty-nine minutes to get Period Two ready to go in their assigned seats, with a packet and a pointed pencil. And I had to call the monitor and someone got hauled out to the office. And really, he could have hauled out the entire class. Really.
So the next period, the first three people who listened carefully and got the right answer written down would get a big black happy smile on their paper. And the class rocked. And I pushed the monitor button again, but this time so he could see the entire class on task with their answers written down and their hands waving in the air. Miss, Miss. Look at my answer! Look at me! And the next class. And the next class.
It was the same big black marker.
And yesterday Nicole found a crumpled up note on the floor of her room as she was tidying up. And she stuffed it in her jean pocket and didn’t read it until she got home. A note that verbalized a life change. Really. A girl who transformed from a dirty-hair-in-the-face cutter to someone taping up Abraham Lincoln quotes about The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.
And the Enemy seeks to steal, kill and destroy. But He came to seek and to save those who were lost. And weak.
Closing Prayer Lord Jesus Christ, You stretched out Your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of Your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know You to the knowledge and love of You, for the honor of Your name. Amen.