Giving Thanks on Maundy Thursday—Following Christ’s Lead
It’s a day of Thanksgiving! It’s Maundy Thursday, when over 2000 years ago Christ ate his last supper with his disciples. Maundy means “commandment”, referring to Jesus’ command to his disciples at that supper and to us “A new commandment I give unto you, Now that I, your Lord & Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14. It’s a somber day as we remember what Christ did for us, giving his life so that we will live.
But it’s a day to give thanks. Jesus did! Only hours away from dying, Jesus gave thanks! In Luke 22: 17 it tells us “After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you.’ ” And in verse 19, “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you: do this in remembrance of me.’ “
Did you know that before certain miracles that Jesus did, he gave thanks? Before feeding the five thousand who had nothing to eat, we’re told in Luke 9, “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he (Jesus) gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken peices that were left over.” And again before feeding four thousand people who had nothing to eat (in Mark 8), “When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks…. all of the people ate and were satisfied.”
My heart today is filled with thanks to my Savior who went to the cross for me, for you, for my loved ones, and for all of humanity. In the messiness of the following day, Good Friday, through the searing pain, the torture, the agony, and the ultimate loss of his life my Jesus endured to the end. He truly knows about my messes in my life. He knows the heartache of losing my only son. He knows the pain I endure from my MS. He knows why it’s hard to give thanks some days. But he knew he would triumph in the end! He knew the end of the story!
Give thanks in all circumstances
In all of life’s challenges, trials, tragedies, and pain I know the One who is by my side and truly can commiserate with me. He’s been there! In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 the Apostle Paul says: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” When I read this passage I notice it says, “IN all circumstances”, not FOR all circumstances. So when I get hit with the painful events that are guaranteed to happen in life, I won’t be thankful for them. But in the middle of that event, I can thank God that he is there with me….in the middle, knowing exactly what I’m going through. I choose to live a life of thankfulness, following my Savior’s lead.
And I know the end of the story…Easter! Thank God!