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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Maundy Thursday Service

Our Maundy Thursday Service was held this evening at 7pm at St. Andrew's Presbyterian church. The sermon presented by Spike Coleman was the first part of a three part sermon series. The 2nd part will be presented on tomorrow at the Good Friday Service which will be on tomorrow evening at the church at 7:00 PM. The final sermon will be presented on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunrise Service will be at 7:00am on Sunday morning. Regular worship service will be at 11:00am on Sunday morning. Please join us for all of the activites we will have this Holy Week. All are welcome!

The sermon presented at the Maundy Thursday service this evening was entitled, More Than Just a God Example. (God, not "good) The scripture less is John 13: 1-17 , 31-35.

Sermon Summary: Jesus Christ is the mission of God for the world. The disciples shared the message of Jesus Christ and shared the good news of the word. Jesus gave his disciples the ultimate commandment, that we should love one another. The word "Maundy" comes from the Latin for 'command' (mandatum). It refers to the command given by Jesus at the Last Supper, that his disciples should love one another.

Spike grew up in Lunchburg with friend named Joe. Joe had a very tough upbringing. He was very athletic and played various sports throughout his school career. He was always a terrible student when it came to grades. He had an abusive parent, his father, who told him over and over that he was stupid. Eventually Joe believed that and his grades suffered for it. He suffered physical abuse as well in the form of beatings. Joe was desperate for love and friendship.

When Spike was in his first year at Duke, Joe was in high schol and was just miserable. His life was filled with drug abuse, alcohol and promiscuity. He just could not overcome what he endured at the hands of his abusive parents. He developed bad patterns of living. Whenever Spike came home and encountered Joe, they would pray together for Joe to have a better life and to make changes. Joe would try to hold on but pretty soon, the same people (not friends) would come around and Joe would be back to his old way of life. What would have made a difference?

As a pastor, Spike struggles with how we can help people right here break the power of sin. How can we help people hear that good news? Jesus Christ gives us a new commandment: Mandatum Novum. Mandatum Novum is from the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" ("A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you"). Jesus Christ unites us to share in his life and mission.

Jesus Christ knew that with the passover his hour had come. "Hour" is repeated several times in the scripture. It is not an hour as we know it--60 minutes. The hour is the reason why God sent Jesus Christ into the world. All is fulfuilled in that hour. Jesus Christ knew that he was about to leave his disciples. He also knew what Satan had put into Judas's heart to do. In his last moments he shared the most important thing he could with the disciples. He washes their feet. Jesus Christ takes on the role of a servant.

In those days they did not have shoes like we have today. With all the walking they did, their feet were very dirty. Jesus Christ girds his waist with a towel and shocks the disciples with his humility by washing their feet. This is the same God who spoke into the darkness, separated light from dark and gave us the breathe of life. This is the one who has become their slave. Judas does not get it. Peter is not so sure either. Jesus tells Peter he will understand after. Be patient. Peter is eager but confused. Jesus knows that if he does not wash his feet, he will have no share in him. He is showing them what it means to share in his be the God example.

Jesus is preparing them to be the community of love, preparing them for life after the resurrection. If we are to proclaim the good news, then we must embody it. Be proof positive the gospel is true...the lame walk, the blind can see and the dead get a new life. People have to see that in us first. What does it mean to share in the mission of Jesus Christ? If we follow his God example, then, we will understand, As we obey it will make sense and love will flourish. Jesus Christ calls us to be a community of love, to love one another. Jesus Christ gives us the new commandment, to love on another as he first loved us. Jesus does much more than that when he washes the feet of the disciples. He offers us himself. He offers his body and his blood for the sins of the world. Jesus Christ wants us to share in his risen life as we gather around the table.


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