Maundy Thursday was never something that was celebrated when I was growing up. To be honest, I had never even heard of it until I came to MidAmerica, where it is talked about more. In a time of reflection this afternoon, I have a few thoughts I want to share in regards to this day –
On this day, thousands of years ago, Jesus and his disciples went to Gethsemane and Jesus said to Peter, James, and John:
“’Sit here while I pray.’ He began to be deeply distressed and troubled. ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,’ he said to them. ‘Stay here and keep watch.’ Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. ‘Abba Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’” [Mark 14:32-36]
Reading this brought me to a place of contemplation, and I can tell you that my response when I’m brought to my knees in prayer, feeling heavy and run down, is not always ‘not what I want, but what you want, Father’. Reading this passage in Mark has me feeling CONNNNVICTEDDDD!
I don’t want to compare our earthly pain to the suffering of Jesus on the cross, BUT as Jesus so beautifully modeled the ultimate sacrifice on the cross, He also so beautifully modeled what it looks like to bring our pain before the Lord, saying, “not my will, Father, but yours be done.” So as we process through our own suffering in the midst of this Easter season, may we take a posture of thanksgiving for what He did FOR US on the cross, a posture of surrender – releasing control to our Abba Father, and a posture of crying out, “my life is yours, Lord. Not my will, but yours be done.”