Bringing the Text to Life

Thursday Theology John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Thursday Theology

A Christian’s incarnational work is to capture original Thursday theology in a contemporary Thursday context.

Thirteen men having dinner to celebrate shared history. One of them washes the others’ feet. Then after dinner he predicts the future and offers inspirational speeches. Sounds like a wacky cult group or something coming out of Roswell, New Mexico. No offense.

On Maundy Thursday, the church remembers the Upper Room, the last meal the disciples shared with the pre-resurrected Christ. We focus on three major movements of that evening which shape our services and Lenten celebration:

• The washing of the disciples’ feet

• The institution of the Eucharist/The Lord’s Table

• The incarnational commissioning: “You also should love one another.”

This third element is the mandatum novum — new commandment — from which Maundy Thursday derives its name. We recognize a “new commandment Thursday.”

Although there is such rich theology that underpins Maundy Thursday, it’s often the stepchild of the Lenten season. Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday,...

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