Thursday, April 17
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Minute for Mission
Shock and awe. Whenever Jesus acts and speaks, he shocks us, he awes us, as he did the disciples when he washed their feet.
Holding the grimy, sweaty feet of the disciples clashes with human thoughts of whom and what the King and Creator of the universe is supposed to be about. And yet those who heed the psalmist’s words should not be too surprised:
But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
your name endures to all generations.
You will rise up and have compassion on Zion. (Ps. 102:12–13b)
The psalmist trusts in and finds again and again that the Almighty God who created the heavens and earth is the One who delivers, who helps, who comforts, who shelters. God is not a far-off king but the sovereign Lord who comes as a lowly carpenter’s son, is counted as a common criminal, and prostrates himself to his friends.
On Maundy Thursday 2013, Pope Francis demonstrated the humility characteristic of his namesake from Assisi by washing, anointing, and kissing the feet of young people in Rome. Juveniles serving life sentences in Los Angeles prisons wrote letters to Pope Francis. One said:
Dear Pope Francis,
Thank you for washing the feet of youth like us in Italy. We also are young and made mistakes. Society has given up on us. Thank you that you have not given up on us.
May we be of the same mind and heart as Jesus, humbling ourselves to each other, serving one and all.
—Rev. Dr. Neal D. Presa, moderator, 220th General Assembly (2012)
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus Christ, who loves us and serves us. May we serve and love you and each other. Amen.
Lectionary for Maundy Thursday
Exod. 12:1–4 (5–10) 11–14
Ps. 116:1–2, 12–19
1 Cor. 11:23–26
John 13:1–17, 31b–35