Clear Vision – Reconciliation
There’s a commercial of a man sitting at the meal table with his family and friends as he receives a written message that he is going to have a heart attack tomorrow. Of course we don’t get those kinds of messages. Yet if we knew that one day we would get a message concerning the very hour of our own death, what would we do about it? Jesus, knowing that his last hours had come, prepares to share his last meal with his disciples. Today Maundy Thursday services remembers this intense, yet sensitive moment. Jesus washes the feet of disciples, faces his betrayer, and commands his chosen to love one another. Later he leaves them to earnestly pray among the olive trees. From this prayer his human consciousness is in distress, but it is his spiritual consciousness within, that True Love consoles. He continues his journey in obedience, with clear vision, as his physical life begins to be stripped away. At the end of many Christian services on this evening, the first of the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil), there is a stripping of the altar. Vestments, candles, icons if any are carried out of the sanctuary. Any physical sign which represents life is removed. Additionally, there is no benediction, no postlude and no closing hymn because the service is not over. How many times in our own journey have we thought having something removed, seemingly stripped away from us, that life as we knew it was over? For the past 37 days we have prayerfully stripped away those aspects of our lives in order that we may be more whole, more complete in serving God. In reality, whomever or whatever, the stripping away is only the beginning. Our journey in Christ is not over!
Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world… John 13