Sharing the Promise: The Maundy of Maundy Thursday

April 21, 2011

By Dr. Linda Brupbacher, an education professor at Houston Baptist University as well as a Bible study teacher and a newly ordained deacon at South Main Baptist Church. Linda is Hart’s wife, Lee and Lori’s mom, Lauren and Raymond’s mother-in-law and Will’s grandmother.

Most of us associate Thursday of Holy Week with the Lord’s Supper and Garden of Gethsemane events.  However, neither of these is the reason for the “Maundy” label.  “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the Latin phrase that is translated  “A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).   After Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He issued this new command (mandatum).

Walking dusty roads in sandals often resulted in really dirty feet.  The custom was to provide foot washing water and towels just inside the entryway to a home. If slaves were available, the slave with the very lowest status was assigned the foot-washing task.  Even among slaves, this was considered a lowly, undesirable chore.  However, that didn’t stop Jesus from washing the disciples’ feet.

Evidently the disciples didn’t wash their own feet as they entered the upper room–so sometime early that evening Jesus knelt and washed their feet.  Scripture offers no indication of prior conversation about the need for clean feet or discussion about who would or should do the foot washing.  Jesus simply noticed the need and acted to meet it.  It was an act of humility and service.  And, it clearly illustrated the new commandment:  love each other as I have loved you.

This commandment is so consistent with Jesus’ life and with His other teachings that its label as “new” seems somewhat surprising.  However, its content isn’t surprising at all.  Jesus consistently advocated and modeled loving people.

Loving one another is one of those things that sounds simple– but isn’t always easy.  Jesus cared, He noticed, and He acted—and we are expected to do likewise.  How to actually do this is one of the challenges of Maundy Thursday and of everyday as we attempt to more deeply share the promise.  Choosing whether or not to do this isn’t really presented as an option.

Heavenly Father,

Help us follow Jesus’ model of humility and service—of truly loving others.  Erase any self-centeredness, pride or fear that might keep us from doing this.  Help us notice the needs of others and act to help meet those needs.  Please give us humble, compassionate, servant hearts that compel us to live this commandment.   Amen.


SHARE: By Cliff Nickel

April 13, 2011

Cliff Nickel was born and raised at South Main Baptist Church. He is an active member at the church, currently serving on the Outreach Committee an helping with the Church Archives.

I was in the cradle roll here at South Main and grew up watching the love and support a church family gives. My parents were not only in a very supportive Sunday School class, but they were also part of another group that gave our family support—SMUT (South Main United Tenters).  This was a camping group of several families who went camping at least twice a year together.  While growing up I remember the support when I was in junior high when my mother, Sharon, had surgery and then again when I was in high school and we discovered she was diagnosed with MS. Our church family supported our family in many ways during these times.

As an adult I wondered if my family would have that same type of support.  After getting married my wife and I were members of the newlywed class with Larry and Lecia Carroll as the Sunday school teachers.  They gave us a nice blend of bible study and fellowship. My wife and I developed some wonderful relations from that group. One couple with whom we socialized frequently were John and Beth (Kaiser) Clark. One evening we were out and ran into two other couples who were in the next class up. These couples were Lloyd and Susan Culp and Gordan and Gail Musgrove. That is when the idea first came about.

Gail (Chandler) Musgrove grew up with her parents having a “Quarter club “ that met several times during the year for fellowship. Gordan thought it would be a great idea for us to start our own. We got together in December of 1994 and started our own “Quarter Club”.  We have been there for each other through the oldest Graham Musgrove’s marriage to the youngest Carleigh Nickel’s birth ; to moving of houses to the service of baptism;  through illness to deaths of parents and family members. The Pitschmann Family joined the group and we still meet through out the year.

Being an adult here at South Main, I have experienced the same love and support that my parents did through my Sunday school class and my “Quarter Club”. These are friendships that last a lifetime.

fresh faith. vintage church.

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