Thursday, April 05, 2012

Maundy Thursday_the Greatest Virtue

William Blake's Holy Thursday (1794).
William Blake's Holy Thursday (1794). (Photo credit: Wikipedia) *clear text below

If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you had asked almost any of the great Christians of old, he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance.
__C.S. Lewis,"The Weight of Glory" (The Weight of Glory).

The closest anyone could come to showing a picture of Love would be to show God giving his Only Beloved Son for the world He loved so that all who believe on His Son might be saved, never perishing, but having eternal life. That picture would encompass: all of God--Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--present at Creation at the beginning; the Annunciation: announcement to Mary, mother of Jesus; His birth; His baptism by John; His ministry of teaching and healing; His prayers; His words from the Cross; His death on the Cross; His being raised from death by God: Resurrection; the promise that He will come again to the earth.  

The picture of Love includes Obedience (thereby, Unselfishness) portrayed. The Son obeyed the Father's plan and thereby became Incarnate in human flesh. What a comedown from heaven's glories, and leading to betrayal, scourging, and the Cross, outside the city gates, as if being crucified on the dung-heap of Jerusalem. 

To Christians, Maundy (Latin meaning commandment) refers to Jesus' words about the new commandment He gave:

 "I give a new commandment to you:
'Love one another; just as I have loved you, you should also love one another'"
(John 13:34_Aramaic Bible in Plain English (c)2010).

Maundy Thursday in the Church calendar is the new commandment day, the Passover day of The Last Supper, the new communion that Jesus told his disciples to keep "in remembrance of Me." It is the Thursday of Holy Week, the day before Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the day when believers celebrate the bodily Resurrection of the Lord. 

There remain faith, hope, and love, and "the greatest of these is love."  

This Maundy, then, is a commandment given by Love telling us to love. May every person born again of the Spirit of God obey this commandment, which is to love as God loves.
*A Poem (Holy Thursday in London Town)
by William Blake (1794)

‘Twas on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean,

The children walking two and two, in red and blue and green,

Grey headed beadles walk’d before, with wands as white as snow,
Till into the high dome of Paul's they like Thames’ waters flow.

Oh what a multitude they seem’d, these flowers of London town!
Seated in companies they sit with radiance all their own.
The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs,
Thousands of little boys and girls raising their innocent hands.

Now like a mighty wind they raise to heaven the voice of song,

Or like harmonious thunderings the seats of Heaven among.
Beneath them sit the aged men, wise guardians of the poor;
Then cherish pity, lest you drive an angel from your door.
Original post text copyright (c)2012 Opinari Writers 4/5/2012
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  1. Hi Jean,

    Great posts. I also wrote a devotion on the scripture of John 13:1 that says "He Loved His Own". This scripture is also about the Passover Feast and Maundy Thursday. And the theme is also about love and loving others even "our own".

    1. Hi, Grace, Thanks for posting your comment. Is there a link for "He Loved His Own"?