Thursday, March 24, 2016

Maundy Thursday and Easter Week With Kids

The bread is rising in the oven, the kids are breaking from school for a quick, invigorating basketball game out front. I'm staring down laundry baskets of clean clothes that need to be folded before our guest comes tomorrow to accompany us to a noon-time Good Friday service.

Such are the goings on here, about 2045 years after Christ celebrated a last supper with his disciples, at which he washed their feet. Maundy Thursday, it is called.

The word Maundy is derived from the Latin word for “command.” The “Maundy” in “Maundy Thursday” refers to the command Jesus gave to the disciples at the Last Supper, that they should love and serve one another

John 13:6-10, John 13:12-17

(Jesus) came to Simon Peter. “Lord,” Peter said to Him, “Are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You don’t realize now what I am doing. But later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter. “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you can’t share life with Me.”
“Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet! Wash my hands and my head too!”
Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs to wash only his feet. The rest of his body is clean. And you are clean. But not all of you are.” - John 13:6-10

“Do you understand what I have done for you?” He asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You are right. That is what I am. I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet. So you also should wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example. You should do as I have done for you.

“What I’m about to tell you is true. A servant is not more important than his master. And a messenger is not more important than the one who sends him. Now you know these things. So you will be blessed if you do them. - John 13:12b-17

It's so easy for the tyranny of the present to thwart parents' desires to disciple their children. Our young people need fed, clothed, and directed to clean their messes. Tables need set, cleared, and dishes done, trash disposed of, showers and baths taken, pajamas gathered, hair combed...and the list goes on. 

Satan counts on us being too busy to do what's most important as parents. He'll throw us curve balls when we serve in the church, get ready for church, drive to church, endeavor to pray with our kids, pray as husband and wife, and conduct family devotions. He manages to make us too tired, irritated, stressed, mad, and overwhelmed. He causes our children to be uncooperative, nasty to one another, full of complaint. 

Don't let him win during these next four days, which are the most important historically speaking for our faith. Without Maundy Thursday we don't have the second most powerful example of humility ever known to man. Without Good Friday--the blood, the cross--the single most humbling event mankind has ever witnessed, we are nothing. We have nothing. And finally, without the resurrected Christ, the aforementioned blood and crucifixion death mean practically nothing--merely another event in history. 

The Resurrection is everything to us. Everything. And you can't teach the resurrection story well without starting with Maundy Thursday as an introduction. 

I urge all of us to make the most of the next four days, for the glory of God. Don't let the chocolate bunnies and treasured baskets be the only things that stay with them, creating anticipation year after year. 

Do it all in remembrance--out of gratitude and awe, not as ritual, however. We can't let them leave our homes in adulthood without intimate knowledge and awe of the Resurrected Christ. We only have so many years to shape their hearts and lives...and then they're gone.


An explanation of Maundy Thursday (Got parents)

Maundy Thursday Lesson for Young Children (a Christian mother's blog)

Do Your Children Understand Easter? (Focus on the Family, five mini-lessons offered in pdf)

Happy Easter to you and yours! I treasure your friendship and enjoy our communion in Him.

No comments: