“For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” – 1 Corinthians 11:23-25
“Sorry, I’m too busy.”
Have you ever said these words? Yeah, I have too. Sometimes we feel bad for not having the time. At other times, we wear it like a badge of honor. In fact, our society tells us we’re failing if we aren’t busy. We’re told we should work more than 40 hours-a-week, prepare organic-made-from-scratch meals for our family, and have our children involved in twelve different activities. If we can do all of that, then our busyness is a badge of honor, right?
Jesus, too, was busy on Maundy Thursday. Our Lord demonstrated servant love (washing the feet of his disciples), gave a new mandate (“love each other as I have loved you”), and instituted one of our two sacraments (Communion). Yet, his busyness had a purpose. He knew he would be handed over to the authorities and crucified. So, he wanted his disciples to comprehend Kingdom-living. Amid the Maundy-Thursday-busyness, he wanted to prepare them for their new business – sharing the Good News. Doing that well would require understanding servant-leadership and staying connected to the Vine – to Jesus.
When we approach the end of our earthly lives and look back, we will think more about relationships than the hours worked and the money made. In Charles Dickens’ classic, A Christmas Carol, the ghost of Jacob Marley – a greedy man of business – laments the life he lived. He says, “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”
While time remains, let’s choose to make space for others and for God. Today, I encourage you to give yourself permission to say: “I’m too busy.” And I want you to truly mean it. “I’m too busy because I need to be with Jesus and my church family today. I need to encounter Jesus in the bread and the wine of Communion. I need to be reminded of his example of service and his command to love one another. Everything else will have to wait. Today, I have an appointment with Jesus.”
At Hope we have 11 Maundy Thursday services today for you to encounter Jesus.
- Ames (7:00 pm);
- Ankeny (5:30, 7:00 pm);
- Des Moines (12:00 & 6:00 pm);
- Grimes (5 & 7:00 pm);
- Waukee (6:30 pm);
- West Des Moines (12:00, 5:00 & 7:00 pm)
Lord Jesus, we praise and thank you for your gift of salvation, your mandate to love, and the Sacrament of Communion, in which we get to encounter you. Jesus, we especially ask for your blessing on the little children taking their first Communion today. Remind us that children are just as much a part of your Church as the adults. Let your Spirit guide these little hearts today as they encounter you. Amen.