Maundy Thursday – Not yet in Paradise
I wrote yesterday about my neighbor’s side yard, filled with daffodils in full bloom and two blooming Redbuds in the midst of the yellow blossoms. In the afternoon I was working in the backyard when I thought I heard a crash, but in the city there is always some noise. A neighbor at the end of the street is having her house resided; traffic travels on Lindberg, only a block away.
But when I came around to the front of the house, the neighbor’s front yard was filled with massive branches from a maple tree. A main branch which had broken off fell across the roof and broke in several pieces. Smaller branches blocked the walkway and the front door. Not something Dave was expecting to see when he came home. Makes Becky and I glad that we are having the mostly dead oak in our backyard taken out next week.
In the upper Midwest a goodly amount of snow has fallen. My family will be going to Maundy Thursday services this evening with 7 or 8 inches of new snow on the ground. I wrote my brother that he ought to think of Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow, though they be crimson they will become like wool.” I am under no illusion that my allusion to sins white as snow will be greatly appreciated.
As has been the custom at Immanuel Lutheran Chapel for several years, the sanctuary will be cleared of pews and replaced by tables and chairs for the annual Seder meal. Following the Seder we will have Holy Communion and then as I chant Psalm 130 the altar will be stripped. We will leave in silence until we gather again on Good Friday evening.
Whether we have snow to remind us of sins forgiven or fallen branches to remind us that we are not yet in Paradise, we wait for that time when we will celebrate with Christ an eternal banquet with all the angels, archangels and with the whole company of heaven.
Prayer of the Day
O Lord, in this wondrous Sacrament you have left us a remembrance of Your passion. Grant that we may so receive the sacred mystery of Your body and blood that the fruits of your redemption may continually be manifest in us, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.