We’re about to read the story of the Last Supper. I’m skipping ahead; it’s a story we typically read on Maundy Thursday, which is the day before Jesus dies. The name “Maundy” is derived from the Latin mandatum, meaning a mandate or command: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” It begins with washing feet. This story of foot washing is part of the climax of the entire Gospel in the way that John tells the story. Compare John’s story of this night with the other three Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke. In the other three Gospels, Jesus and his disciples are at a Passover sedar meal. Jesus takes the bread, blesses, breaks and gives transforming it into his body. He takes the cup calls it his blood for the new covenant. John doesn’t give us Eucharist—cup and bread. Instead, takes a basin and towel and gets down on his knees. Matthew tells the Last Supper in eighteen verses; John’s version of a meal, followed by foot washing and instruction, is one-hundred and fifty five verses and takes up five chapters in our Bibles. It’s the longest single discourse we have from Jesus. We’re just going to read the first seventeen verses this morning.
John 13:1-17 Continue reading “Rhythms: Service”