So tomorrow is Maundy Thursday.
Maundy comes from the latin "mandatum" for new commandment. As in Jesus saying "I give you an new commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Jesus isn't taking about a feeling or emotion. He is talking about an action. Love embodied in us and through us. When Jesus talks about love of neighbor, he tells a story of such love in action, not for a friend, but for a complete stranger. On the side of the road. Beaten and bloodied.
When Jesus shows us love it is Jesus breaking religious taboos to relieve suffering far and wide; it is washing Judas' feet with those 30 pieces of silver newly weighing heavy in Judas pocket; It is Jesus asking God to forgive those who are putting him to death. It is reaching out to everyone high and low, rich and poor, religious insiders and outcasts. An on and on.
Love God and Neighbor Jesus said. Love one another Jesus said.
So tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, Trinity Lutheran has two services.
(1) At noon in the sanctuary we will embrace the traditional Maundy Thursday Liturgy, its readings, prayers, communion, washing of feet, and the stripping of the altar.
(2) At 7:30PM in the hall we gather with our brothers and sisters from the Bride of Christ Congregation who worship each Sunday afternoon in our facilities and the people of the Darul Uloom Institute, our local mosque, to share about Christianity's and Islam's understanding of love of neighbor and to participate in some small group dialogue and creative artistic expression of the love we share. And prayer. And dessert.
Y'all are welcome to join us in any or all of these Maundy Thursday opportunities.