“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
I was not happy. I had been assigned to drive to our rural mission one hour away and was worried I wouldn’t make it back for the Maundy Thursday service. Our outreach worker took me to visit a family living in a trailer off a dirt road in one of the poorest counties in the nation. On the way she told me about the family. The boys’ father worked 12-hour shifts for minimum wage and could barely make ends meet. The family was grieving over the recent death of the boy’s mother: she was 35. Earlier in the week the boys—ages 10 and 6—had walked a mile to their neighbor’s house to beg for food. The neighbor fed them, but had little to spare, so she called our mission.
We spent time with the family, gave them food, and helped pay some bills. I got to church on time and as the pastor read the Gospel, I realized that in my rush, I had almost neglected the Lord’s work. Maundy means “command” and is based on Jesus’ words to His disciples: “Love one another.” He gives the power to love through His body and blood, the Holy Supper He instituted this night.
God had given me an opportunity to love—feeding hungry, motherless children—and my response had been resentment. Knocked to my knees by my sins of selfishness, confession filled my heart. Cleansed by Jesus, I go forward to serve.
Prayer: Come Lord Jesus, be our Guest and let Thy gifts to us be blessed. And let there be an ample share, on every table, everywhere. Amen.
Response: Give a gift or donation to your local food bank.
(Devotions from "Cross of Ashes" by Christine Weerts, a Lenten devotional provided by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Copyright 2005, Int'l LLL. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend.)
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