2-Minute Multiplier: Spelling
I’m sure they taught me how in seminary. I guess. Or else they simply assumed. Incorrectly.
Either way I was the cause of phone calls in my first congregation pointing out the Maunday Thursday printed on the ginormous vinyl sign in letters large enough to be read by speeding cars was incorrectly spelled. Compliments of yours truly.
So much for good first impressions.
Today is Command Thursday. Maundy, historically speaking.
From Jesus’ command in John 13.34, as translated in the Latin version of the Bible: “A new command (mandatum) I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must also love one another.”
The mandate seemed nice to those disciples’ ears that evening. Until Jesus demonstrated the extent of the command.
A rabbi washing his students’ feet? Scandalous. Yet Jesus donned the apron and scrubbed the dirt. Willingly. With no consideration of appearances or social etiquette.
The other “love-one-another” demo took the form of open-arms-hospitality to a traitor. Not fully appreciated by the dinner guests.
The Passover was traditionally celebrated with family. Blood relatives. Jesus celebrated it that evening with His 12 disciples. But He turned it into a new tradition: Taking bread before dinner and wine afterwards, Jesus instituted His Supper.
A divine meal hosted by Jesus Himself. Serving up Jesus Himself. For Jesus’ new family: a slew of characters destined to deny Jesus in some form or the other.
Including Judas. The one who would lead Jesus’ late-night arrest party later that evening.
That first Maundy Thursday Jesus dined with traitors and scrubbed toenails.
That’s the love we’re commanded to. Welcoming traitors into your life. Cleaning up after people’s messes. Embracing the demeaning acts that lower your ego so another’s can rise above.
Self-sick you and me sadly get stuck on simply loving ourselves. We require a command to love one another.
Sheesh. We even have a hard time spelling it.