Here is the reflection I will give for this evening's Maundy Thursday Service.
by Rev. Derrick L. Weston
Every Sunday, I conclude worship with these words:
Go in peace,
And may the God who walks on wounded feet walk with you on the path
May the God who serves with wounded hands open your hands to serve
May the God who loves with wounded heart open your heart to love.
May you see the face of Christ in all that you meet and may all that you meet see the face of Christ in you.
This is a reflection I’ve made on that benediction in light of Maundy Thursday:
They’ll wound his feet, his weary feet, which so many miles have tread.
Across highways, deserts and mountainsides where hungry crowds were fed.
Those feet that carried him from the shore out on the raging sea
And bid his frightening followers, take heart and follow me,
Feet that moved through angry mobs when unpopular words were spoken
And rested at the sinners’ table where unfavorable bread was broken
Those feet that traversed town to town to do good and set minds free,
The calloused feet of a nomad who preached God’s reign of liberty
Those feet anointed by precious oils and scrubbed with hair and tears
Will soon be pierced and locked into place to calm the masses fears.
For this traveler’s journey is near its end, destination nearly reached.
It was for this night he journeyed so and taught and healed and preached.
They’ll wound his head his sacred head, which spoke the words of peace.
With eyes that looked out with compassion and lips that spoke captives’ release
The head, with mind for parables and rethinking laws worn thin
With wit that countered Lawyers and scribes accusing him of sin
This head worthy of kingly crown beset with jewels in gold
Will soon be fit with twisted vines while thorns in flesh take hold
And while this head, blood soaked and bruised looks out on mocking throng
He’ll utter prayers, forgive them, God. They know not that they’re wrong.
They’ll wound his side, his sacred side ,now flanked by loving friends.
Who’ve stood beside throughout the quest, but will leave him in the end
He stood beside the sinners, whores, gentiles, and unclean
And those with whom the religious folk would not dare to be seen
Brothers asked if they could be to his side both left and right
He turned to them and in reply said service was their might
Instead of disciples on his sides, he’ll hang with common thieves.
And though the two men lay condemned he’ll rejoice as one believes.
They’ll wound his hands, his holy hands, blessed with a healing touch.
With words he’s said so many things, but his hands say just as much.
For with these hands he’s cured blind eyes and helped the lame to walk .
His hands that touched the lepers clean while others cringe and gawk.
Hands that broke the festive bread and poured the blessed cup
Will soon know the pain of cruel spikes and by them be lifted up.
But these hands now grasp towel and bowl and wash the students’ feet
To symbolize the new command that they will soon repeat.
That love must serve to be true love and so this much is true.
The model that the master gives becomes the charge to you.
But they’ll wound his heart, his loving heart with wound that runs most deep
While he holds vigil to kneel and pray they’ll give themselves to sleep.
They’ll take up sword during his arrest though he has taught no violence
They’ll flee his side and hide away in dark rooms filled with silence.
And yet the deepest wound of all will be when they refuse
His new command to love and serve and then instead will choose
To be a church of factions, cliques and multiple divisions.
Where folks are left out or judged solely on their worst decisions
They’ll wound his heart by being church only for the elite
Without reaching a servant’s hand to those who’ve known defeat.
So in this night of sacred dark, his wounds become our own
We feel that we have not shared with all the love that we have known.
We have not modeled the unity for which our savior prayed
Or laid our lives down for our friends, and so he hangs betrayed.
The question lays before us now “when will we learn to love”?
To seek the best of life for others and put their needs above
Our own ambitions and desires, to be selfless with all we own
By this we’ll make his words be true: by our love we’ll make him known.