Thursday, March 29, 2018

Maundy Thursday Love

This morning, I read the Maundy Thursday text about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and his mandate to love each other--thus setting into motion thousands of years of debate about what it means to love each other and how we demonstrate that love with our actions.

It's been a Holy Week of love and service for me.  When I think back about this week, I will likely remember all the furniture moving that I did--not in my house, but at school.  We decided that we wanted a different kind of New Student Orientation, one that involved sharing a meal together after dividing the new students by program of study.  We have 2 classrooms connected with a folding wall, so we have the space.  But it involved moving all the tables that were configured for classes into tables configured for meal sharing.

We don't have a team of custodians who can be instructed to do that work.  The Admissions team needed to be making phone calls to prospective students.  We don't have many full-time faculty at all, so most of the faculty are elsewhere in this week between classes.  In short, I did it, and I did it with some amount of joy--although occasionally I made a joke about having gone to school for many years to be trained to move tables.

I also did a lot of shopping:  for tablecloths, for other paper products, for food.  Let me just say a prayer of apology to all of the church women in my past who insisted that we wash the cheap, plastic throw-away tablecloths, which used to exasperate me, but now I have some understanding.  It would be expensive to buy new tablecloths for every event.

Today I will do the work of restoring the room to two classrooms.  I will say Maundy Thursday prayers for all the new students who came for New Student Orientation.  I will say Maundy Thursday prayers for all who will study in the rooms and the rest of campus.  I will look out the windows with their lovely view of the surrounding neighborhood and the larger county, and I will pray for us all.  I will see the planes coming and going from the airport, and I'll pray for travelers--and then I'll pray for us all.

Some might tell me that these actions are not what Jesus had in mind when he commanded us to love each other.  I would argue that's exactly what he meant.  These aren't the only actions that show love, of course.  But that's the beautiful thing about this mandatum:  we have a whole universe of ways to show our love.

No comments: