For me that is painful. I dearly need, and deeply love the time on Thursday to struggle with the Disciples over what he's saying, over what is happening, and over their own responses/reactions to it. Imagine their shock when he takes a towel and basin, gets down on the floor, and begins to wash their feet. The actions of a servant! He talks of betrayal and denial, and with them we must ask, Is It I?
And that night shows Jesus at some of his most human moments: he prays that he not have to experience this terrible event, that God might intervene in what he knows is coming. He enjoys dinner with friends, and yet his heart is heavy because he knows he's leaving them. He wants to be sure he's taught them everything they will need to know. The knowledge that one of his best friends has betrayed him, and others will deny and flee. Knowing that they really don't understand what is about to happen, or its significance. And that sense of resignation when the authorities finally arrive, and he realizes that all he can do from here is just keep walking forward. I don't know about you, but I've walked that path (to a point) and it is unbearably painful.
Maybe that's why I really need Maundy Thursday each year, to be reminded that whatever in life I face, Jesus has already been there, and understands what I'm going through.
Loving God, as we prepare again to walk with Jesus through the last few days of his life on earth, let us know that, as with him, whatever on earth we face you go before us and walk us through it. Even in realizing that much of what caused his death was his willingness to speak truth to power, let us not be afraid to do the same. Let us remember that he treated widows, children, the ill. and the unclean as beloved children of yours. May we do the same without fear of what may come our way. Let us walk where Jesus walked, and know that as you never left him, so you will never leave us.....Amen.