Friday, March 29, 2013

Yesterday was Maundy Thursday...

Maundy Thursday. Many people, actually many Christians, especially from the Protestant branch of Christianity, have no clue what Maundy Thursday is all about. My husband, who is from a Southern Baptist background had no idea what this very special day meant until he met me. He says he never even heard of the name...Maundy Thursday.

Well, I want our son to know, understand and celebrate Maundy Thursday. It is such a beautiful way of learning about the Sacrament of Communion, the new commandment and serving others. It is really awesome when Passover falls on Maundy Thursday, because the lessons just increase 100 fold! God is so good.

Anyway, Maundy Thursday...Maundy means--

[from Old French mandé something commanded, from Latin mandatum commandment, from the words of Christ: Mandātum novum dō vōbīs A new commandment give I unto you]  John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."
On Maundy Thursday, the church celebrates Jesus washing the disciples feet. I must say that I am becoming more impressed with the new pope. The Catholics take the washing of feet very seriously. The Pope usually washes a bishop's feet during a Maundy Thursday service. Pope Francis washed juvenile prisoners feet this year. What an awesome statement to the Catholic church and the protestant church around the world!  We are to serve one another as Jesus did.  :)
So, how was Maunday Thursday celebrated in our home last evening? I made a lovely supper from a recipe that I got off of . My menu was as follows:
Chicken Pastrami Rolls
Buttered corn
Baked potato
Homemade Peach Cobbler for dessert!
It really was easy and delicious!
The Chicken Pastrami Rolls took no time to make and what a flavor.  All you need are 1) chicken breast thinly sliced 2) sliced deli pastrami 3) seasoned bread crumbs and 4) Italian salad dressing. 
Place the thinly sliced chicken breasts in some the Italian salad dressing making sure that both sides get completely coated.  Press only one side of the chicken breast in the seasoned bread crumbs. Place a slice of pastrami on the chicken breast.  Roll the chicken breast and place seam side down in a prepared 9 X 13 pan.  Repeat with the rest of the chicken breast.  Drizzle a little more dressing on the breaded rolls.  Sprinkle some more seasoned bread crumbs on top of the rolls.  Spray the top of the rolls with Pam or any oil spray.  Place in a 350 degree oven.  Baking time depends on the thickness of the chicken breast.  20-30 minutes.  Serve hot!
We had a lovely meal.  We talked about our day.  My husband is a very slow eater.  It was a little difficult keeping our son at the table, but I told him I had something special planned.  Plus, he could smell the cobbler baking in the oven!  
Finally, my husband finished the meal....we cleared away the dishes.  I brought out three wine glasses with Kedem grape juice and a piece of matzah wrapped in a napkin.  I placed the matzah in front of our son.  His eyes became intrigued and I went with it. 
 I started to explain what Maundy Thursday represented.  Our son would answer questions and he even interjected scripture on his own.  I knew that he was really understanding what was being taught.  I explained about the Passover feast, the washing of the disciples feet, the meaning of the third cup of wine at the Seder, the new commandment and Judas' betrayal.  (What I didn't realize was how intently my husband was listening.)
I tried to stay chronologically with scripture.  Our son kept bringing up Judas and his betrayal, so we talked about that. 30 pieces of silver!  The Creator and Redeemer of the world..the Only Begotten betrayed for 30 pieces of silver!  Then I explained how we betray Jesus for even less that 30 pieces of silver!  Needless to say...eyes became wide and I had not only our son's attention, but my husband's as well.  Yes, we betray Jesus time, food, daydreaming, video games, minecraft, Lego's, complaining, coveting the world and it's toys, fretting over sequestration and our government.  The list was extensive!
It came time for the communion service of our evening.
I explained that the juice was a representation of the spilled blood of the Perfect Lamb-the very Son of God!  How sin has always been cleansed with blood and only blood--until the willing sacrifice of Jesus.  "Do this in memory of me."  We drank.  There was a  reverential quiet that filled our little dining room.
The matzah, unleavened bread.  The hasty exodus of the Jews from Egypt--the working of leaven throughout the whole dough representing sin--the cleansing of the home of all forms of leaven prior to the Passover--the breaking of the bread and the Last Supper-- Jesus on the cross--Then the worst!   “At three o’clock, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46). The very first and only time from eternity past, present and future--God the Father had to turn His Holy Presence away from His Only Begotten Son! 
(How painful this must have been for the Father as well.  I really have never thought of the crucifixion from God's point of view before, until tonight.  I believe this Holy Grief must have been played out in the darkness and storm that took hold of Jerusalem that day!) 
I explained how this was the plan from the beginning.  No one killed Jesus, not the Jews, not the Romans, no one!  Jesus willing allowed His body to be beaten and broken to atone for the sins of His Chosen.   "And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  Luke 22:19  
It was here that I had our son take up the matzah (after being told that when he breaks the matzah to listen to the crushing sound--Jesus was crushed for him.  Matzah has stripes and holes in it.  By His stripes we are healed and He was pierced for our transgressions.  God even uses modern matzah to tell of His Son's atoning sacrifice).  He took the matzah and very reverently broke it.  The quiet that had filled our home was now filled with this crackling, crunching sound and we were intensely aware that Jesus was broken for us.  Our son was instructed to give a piece to his earthly father and his mother....then we ate.  The reverent quietness returned.
I then turned to my husband and asked him to pray and thus ending our Maundy Thursday home church service.  Remember I said I was not aware of how intently my husband was listening?  Here is where I found out.  My husband spread his arms with palms turned upwards towards heaven and with a trembling voice prayed a beautiful prayer to our God.  He thanked Him for the sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son for our sins and our atonement.  He prayed that this evening not be forgotten and that we live each day for God and God alone.  I could tell that this prayer was not rote....but from the heart. 
 God was in our little dining room last evening.  I do believe He was enjoying our Maundy Thursday home service, because it was from the heart.  There was no pretense.  There was no scripted service.  There was no one to draw our attention away from His Glory.  Just the three of us sitting around our table worshipping and truly remembering His Sacrifice and Everlasting Love.

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