Maundy Thursday Meditation: "Who Will You Serve?"

17 April 2014

The Rev. Todd R. Goddard, pastor

East Rochester and West Walworth: Zion United Methodist Churches

 

{C}      Exodus 12:1-4, 11-14  http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=263620257 Passover Lamb

{C}      Exodus 16:13-15,31  http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=263620331 Manna in the Wilderness

{C}      John 6:1-15  http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=263620387  Feeding the Crowd w/ 5 Loaves and 2 Fish

{C}      John 6: 25-38, 48-51  http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=263620514 I Am the Bread of Life

 

Prayer.

 

Our God never intended to be an absentee landlord.

Some might have been content

for God to build the house

then just collect the rent.

Nope.

In lieu of payment or rent.

God simply wants a relationship with us

and for us to relate to one another.

 

Certainly we can see God’s love pouring forth

into God’s people since the beginning.

It was God’s love

and fidelity to the covenant He made with us

such that he spared,

he passed over,

the Hebrew first-born children.

Certainly we can see God’s love pouring forth

hearing stomachs grumbling and our ancestors crying

sending manna from heaven

to satisfy their hunger.

Certainly we can see God’s love in Jesus

miraculously feeding the hungry crowd

with five loaves and two fishes.

Certainly we can see God’s love

expressed through the gift of his Son, Jesus,

when Jesus offers himself

as the Bread of Life.

By feasting on Christ

we will never hunger spiritually again

and will have eternal life.

Living bread;

Living water;

eat and drink,

and never hunger or thirst again.

God wants a relationship with us

and for us to relate to one another

that is based on a common thread of love.

 

The love of God

is passed on to others

through service.

This is a constant theme for Jesus:

The highest position of honor

is to become a servant to all.

The last shall become first,

and the first shall become last.

Teach, just as I have taught you.

Baptise, just as I have taught you.

Break bread and share the cup, just as I have taught you.

Heal the sick,

cast out demons,

preach release to the captives,

and bring the recovery of sight to the blind.

Serve the Lord.

Serve others.

Service builds the kingdom of God.

 

Who can think of the Last Supper

and not remember the intimate act of service

that Jesus initiated during the meal:

washing and drying his disciples’ feet?

“You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am.So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.”

(John 13:13-16)

 

The love of God

flows into our lives and calls us

to a life of servanthood. 

These liturgical movements during Holy Week

are leading to something;

something big.

Our Maundy Thursday movement

begs us to ask the question

“Who Will We Serve?”

 

Jesus washed our feet;

whose feet will we turn around and wash?

Literally, who needs cleaned up

and what are we going to do to make it happen?

Metaphorically, whose life is a disaster

and what are we going to do to help make it better?

Jesus feeds us with bread and wine this evening;

who are we going to feed?

Literally, who is physically hungry

and what are we going to do to serve them food and drink?

Metaphorically, who is spiritually hungry

and what are we going to do to satisfy their spiritual appetite?

Worship alone doesn’t cut it.

The command to

“Go in peace,

to love and serve the Lord”

begins with us

loving and serving our neighbors.

Worship and mission;

It isn’t an Oreo

if it is just two cookies

without the center cream.

Worship and mission;

Both the oil and the vinegar

are essential

to a good salad dressing.

 

Our presence here this evening

before this abundant table

begs each of us to ask the question:

Just as Christ came to serve,

who will we serve?

Amen.