Thursday, April 5, 2012

Love One Another

Tonight Christians celebrate Maundy Thursday. This phrase comes from the Latin language and is a reference to the new commandment Jesus gave his disciples. Jesus is sharing his final meal with the 12 men who have been following him for three years. He gives them his final sermon. In John chapter 13 he gives them these words:

“Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me but where I am going, you cannot come. So now I am giving you a new commandment: love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35).

Jesus gave us a new commandment: love one another as he has loved extend the same grace and kindness he has given to us. And by our love, we show the world we are different. We show the world we are followers of Christ.

On the same night Jesus gave this commandment, he also instituted the Lord’s Supper. Jesus told his disciples to eat the bread and drink the cup as a way of remembering him. We come to communion remembering who Christ is and what he has done for us. In addition, Christ meets us at the altar and fills us with his love. John Wesley called communion a means of grace. Meaning that the Lord’s Supper is not just something we do; it is also an act where God works in us! It is a moment where we encounter God’s unmerited grace and blessing. His grace transforms us into new creations…into a new people who carry out the new commandment.

I love our Communion liturgy where we ask God to make the gifts of bread and wine into the body of Christ so that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood. In communion we are reminded that we are the body of Christ.