An Example of Maundy Thursday in Action

This is what I wrote on Maundy Thursday last year:

Today is Maundy Thursday – it is the day we remember Christ washing the Disciples feet. I was doing a little research on Maundy Thursday and found this on Wikipedia:

The word Maundy is derived through Middle English, and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase “Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (”A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you”), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John (13:34) by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet.

Along with my fried Tara (see her post on Maundy Thursday here) I found the meaning behind the days name to be very interesting and challenging. In the past Thursday of Holy week was not a day I really gave much thought to. I knew that it was related somehow to the foot washing but it wasn’t really a part of Easter for me. My family would often go to a service on Good Friday but we never went to church on Thursday and never really included Thursday in our Easter/Holy week celebrations. But, today I find myself thinking about Maundy Thursday. How can I enter into Christ’s command to “love one another as I have loved you” today? How can I commemorate and celebrate and remember the miraculous act of the God of the universe stooping down to wash the feet of dirty and sinful human beings – of stooping down to serve them and to serve me?”

This lent and holy week have been very different from last year for me. Last year this was a season of learning for me and I was very aware of the days of lent and did what I could to enter into them. This year, although I had planned to enter into lent in many ways as I had last year, I felt God calling me to a slightly different rhythm – something which I wrote a bit about here and am planning to write more about in the coming days. But, today God brought my awareness back to the fact that it is Maundy Thursday and as he did I started to think about a beautiful event that I will be participating in this evening.

Tonight marks the official release of the new Czech translation of the Bible. Our friend Sasha Flek has been working with a small group of others on this translation for the past 17 years. Tonight there will be an open event in Bethlehem Chapel (were Jan Hus preached) to celebrate the release of the Bible. Starting tomorrow there will be public readings of the Bible in 70 major Czech cities that will run for 24 hours straight reading the Bible from cover to cover between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. This is an amazingly significant event and many in the Czech Republic, no matter what their religious beliefs, are excited about it. The Czech tv and radio have both run free adds telling about the Bible and the Czech news has done in-depth interviews of Sasha including asking about his own conversion and calling to the Bible translation. The coming days will be a time to celebrate the birth and completion of a God-given vision and the resurrection of the Bible for a new generation of Czechs.

Today on Maundy Thursday, a day when we remember Jesus stooping and washing the disciple’s feet and telling them to love one another, it dawns on me that is exactly what Sasha and his team have been doing. They have given up their time and agenda’s to stoop over the Bible for 17 years so that they can show love and bring love through the written Word of God to their people.

Today I pray that those who receive this new translation, that those who hear it in the streets and in public squares over the weekend would feel the love of a God who stooped down to serve and die for each of us.

If you’d like to learn more about the Czech Bible translation visit this web site.

Rejoicing in the journey - Bethany Stedman