Here we are already in Holy Week, 2021! While we are still worshipping virtually like we did last year, there is much hope on the horizon as vaccines become more widely distributed! How I wish we could be together physically for Easter as well as the events of Holy Week, including Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Since we cannot yet all be together, I will remind you of their meanings.
Maundy Thursday is our remembrance of Jesus’ Last Supper with the disciples when he washed their feet. The world “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning mandate or command. In modeling humble service, Jesus mandated that his followers also serve one another.
Following Maundy Thursday, Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified. We may ask, “Why do we call it Good then?” I will offer two possible answers. One, the word Good used herehas a more obsolete sense in that it connotes piousness and holiness. Two, the origin of the term Good is often debated. It may have come from God’s Friday. In either case, the name Good Friday is apt because the suffering and death of Jesus, as awful as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s great plan for humanity’s salvation—which is the ultimate good.
After Jesus’s death, some Christians also hold vigil on Holy Saturday, which ends the Lenten season. The vigil is the final (tomb-side) preparation for the resurrection, which we joyously celebrate on Easter Sunday.
It is my prayer that Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday this week remind you that we pass through many difficulties on life’s journey, but these difficulties are sure to end with the great joy of RESURRECTION! Remember that love doesn’t end and life doesn’t end: This is our blessed Easter hope!
Grace and Peace,