Today was Maundy Thursday. On this day we remember the last time Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples. The word “Maundy” is roughly translated as “command”. When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet at the last supper he gave them a new commandment to love one another. So, on Maundy Thursday we remember the new commandment, that we should love one another as servants.
Tonight at our church’s Maundy Thursday service I took communion for the first time in a really long time. It has probably been a year. Why don’t I usually take communion?
Because I work in the sound booth at our church I am never comfortable taking communion. I have tried in the past. What always ends up happening is that I rush to the front of the church, perform an empty ritual, and hurry back to the sound booth… all the while I am thinking “I really hope the band doesn’t start playing before I get back there”. I finally decided that since I can’t actually take communion with any sort of sincerity or reverence that I shouldn’t take it at all. I don’t know if that is the right approach… it probably isn’t. I just know that I don’t want to take such an important sacrament lightly.
In the last few months I have been dealing with an enormous internal transformation. God has been breaking down a lot of barriers. I questioned my faith, only to find that I was actually questioning my religion and the importance that I put on my own legalistic tendencies. God brought me to a place of desperation because I had been trying too hard to earn my salvation.
Tonight, I took communion. I walked up the aisle. I prayed. Then I took the bread. Then our pastor’s wife offered the cup and said “Thomas, this my blood, shed for you.”
I lost it.
I realized that I had been lacking, aching, longing for communion with God. It was in this beautiful ritual that He reveals himself to us. For the first time in many years I accepted the body and blood of Christ with a heart that was free from religion and personal attempts at holiness. For the first time in many years I truly accepted communion.
It was beautiful and I can’t wait to do it tomorrow night at the Good Friday Tenebrae service.