Last night in our Maundy Thursday service at Calvary Baptist Church, we sang a lot of music, but most poignant for me was the singing of Mozart’s Ave Verum. You see, Maundy Thursday is, well, my anniversary. And it was Mozart’s Ave Verum that we sang in 2006, the first night I attended a service at Calvary as a substitute singer. And, it was on another Maundy Thursday that I made my decision to join, a decision that has changed so many things in my life.
Maundy Thursday has always loomed large in my life of faith and church; as a child, my parents would always take me to the Thursday service and skip Easter service because they didn’t want to be seen as people who only came to church on the Festival days (yes, they didn’t go to church very often).
But the remembrance of the night when Jesus taught us to remember through the act of communion, well that has taken on a new dimension for me since coming to Calvary. It was on Maundy Thursday that I learned the true meaning of the Baptist distinctive of the priesthood of believers (as we come together around the altar table and serve and bless each other), it was on Maundy Thursday that I really learned that people of different backgrounds and politics and socio-economic positions can come together in a moment of faith and remembrance, and that in that moment they can find the true love for one another that was that last great lesson Jesus left with his disciples that night. The heart remembers, even when the whole person does not. Even if when the lights come up, you remember your irritation with this or that, the problems that you face on the next day, or whatever, for that moment, in that place, in the dark and with the elements before us, I truly believe we all experienced that greatest of commandments.
And so, for that, and so much more, I thank you, my community and my friends. My heart will remember forever.
And now, on to Good Friday.