A devotion for the Thursday of Holy Week

by Rev. Kimberly Wecht
Director of Mission and Pastoral Care, United Methodist Communities at Pitman
Read John 13:14-17 NCV


wooden-1280542_1920We meet Jesus around the Passover meal on this final night before He is betrayed, arrested, mocked, and crucified and we have the opportunity to “listen in” on the final words that Christ has to say to His disciples.

What message does Christ chose to give for His final words to them? “I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.” John 13:14-17 NCV.

Jesus’ final message to His disciples is the importance of loving each other. Jesus’ words make it clear that loving one another is not a suggestion, but rather a command. We are not only to love, but to love in the same way that Christ loves us! How did Christ love us? Christ’s love for us was a messy-get-your-hands-dirty-washing-stinky-dirty-feet type of love that took on the form of a servant to humble Himself at the service of another.

Christ’s love was a love that took upon the sins of an undeserving world and died an excruciating death for that same unappreciative world type of love in order to give that world eternal and everlasting life.It is that serve others and die to self type of love that Christ calls for us to have for each other. Loving each other is His command and it is the litmus test of whether we are or are not truly a disciple of Jesus.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” May our answer on this Holy Thursday and every day be this: Love.