Pastor Will's Maundy Thursday Reflection

Maundy Thursday 2018 - John 13:1-17, 31b-35

A towel

A bowl of water




We begin the great three days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Vigil of Easter with these basic and essential elements for life.

This evening we begin the Great Three Days, the Triduum.

One continuous worship service that spans over Christ’s last supper,

his betrayal, his passion and death, leading to the Vigil of Easter.

Tonight the reflection and homily is here at the beginning to make room for the central message that happens with…

A towel

A bowl of water




I know we all come to The Triduum carrying a lot.

We bring with us a host of feelings and emotions, burdens, hopes and expectations.

We may bring grief, doubt, guilt, helplessness, mistrust… we may have lost our faith in God, in our leaders and in humanity in general.

Our faith may be hungering for a new depth with God.

This evening we may feel like Peter.

Christ exposing our feet and vulnerability may drive us to become withdrawn, defensive or even offended.

Again, Peter is the one to voice the thoughts of the crew, when he will say, “(Lord), you will never wash my feet.”

Peter denying his feet being washed by Jesus is John’s version of Peter saying “never” to the cross.

But with all that we bring, Christ doesn’t turn us away.

Rather he asks us to bring it to the font and to this table.

Rather, Jesus ties a towel around his waist and teaches us how love is done.

Jesus says to his disciples, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”

Christ invites us and challenges us into a life of discipleship and service that involves a cross… that involves washing feet.

Christ invites us, and commands us to examine and transform what we love and how we love.

What if we tied a towel around our waist and washed the feet of those different from us?

Or washed the feet of our enemies?

Or washed the feet of those who voted differently than us?

As a friend and colleague of mine shared on Facebook, what if conservatives and

progressives washed each other’s feet?

During our worship this evening we get up and move from our chairs four times…

For absolution within “confession and forgiveness”

For the washing of feet

For Holy Communion

And then after the altar is stripped, we are sent to go out in silence

These movements flow with the basic practice of discipleship.

Confession and Forgiveness

Serving others

Receiving Christ’s body and blood in bread and wine

And then on our feet, we are sent back out into the world to embody the love of Christ.

A towel

A bowl of water




God using the basic and ordinary to do miraculous and extraordinary.

We humans tend to complicate things.

Yes, life and faith can, and often does, get complicated and messy.

But as we begin the cornerstone and central worship service within the whole Church year (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter) we are brought back to the basics elements of our faith…

A towel

A bowl of water




Christ is our Passover lamb, who serves us and then calls us to serve others.

To “love” isn’t new… but how Christ loves, and embodies love, is.

Love made flesh.

Love baked into bread and wine.

We consume this love.

We then embody this love for others, and this is how others know who we love and who we follow.

This evening we will hear Jesus say, “Little children, I am with you only a little while. You will look for me…”

People are looking for Jesus. Where will they see him?

How will they see him? What will they see through us?

A towel

A bowl of water




You may feel basic and ordinary.

But the good news is that is exactly what God uses to fulfill God’s purpose and mission for the healing and salvation of this world.

May the prayers, liturgy, sacred music, scripture, and the unfolding drama of Christ’s passion set your hearts on fire with faith and love.

May the flow of this service and what happens at the font and table shape what you love and how you love.



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Pastor Will's "Church Council Report"

Even though Church Council meeting minutes and Ministry Team reports are public documents that can be read by any church member who would like to read them (we store them on a shared google doc drive)

Worship Center - 227 East Rosemary Street
Ministry Center - 300 East Rosemary Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: 919 942 2678