I did not feel well at all yesterday. Was it an anxiety attack? The virus? Side effects of immunotherapy? Side effects of working at a computer for hours a day? Guilt at the disarray of the house and neglecting my kids?
I turned off my computer at 3 like I said I would.. and read the Bible.
Specifically a passage in John.
It brought me such comfort.
“Having loved his dear companions,
he continued to love them right to the end.”
Yesterday was Maundy Thursday, the last supper. So many important things stood out to me.
He washed the disciples feet.
Back then, that was a servant’s job. But Jesus took the water and washed his disciples feet. The disciples had been once again arguing over who was His favorite. Even after hearing how the meek shall inherit the earth, it was still a contest. Jesus got up and showed them that no one is too good for any job that is of service to others. We are all to humble ourselves to help our fellow man. If the situation of the current day doesn’t show us how we all need to help each other, I dont know what will.
He told the truth about what was going to happen, even if none of them understood it very well. He knew he was about to die, he spoke of this being his last meal.
He was open emotionally, and they could see he was greatly troubled. Jesus knew one of them was going to betray Him, and they kept falling asleep while He asked them to keep watch. He knew the prophecy was about to be fulfilled, and that He was about to die.
He told them to stick together, to love each other and to cling to the Vine.
He told them it was going to be tough, but the Comforter would come, and there would be a Place at the end, to be safe and together again.
He told them to really, really stick together, and then they went out into the Garden, where they all fell asleep, then ran away. Even after seeing His miracles, they left. One denied knowing Him. One betrayed Him.
And all through that, Jesus continued to love them right to the end.
He had just given his last command, to love one another.
As he was dying on the cross, he asked his disciple to care for His mother Mary.
Love once again.
As he was dying, He gave promised the criminal dying next to him life after death.
Another act of love.
He asked His Heavenly Father to forgive the very people who nailed Him to the cross.
Forgiveness and love.
Humility and love.
Even in His own suffering, Jesus showed love for others.
It made me think of what so many are doing today.
The hospital staff, caring for the ill despite exhaustion and fear of the disease. The delis and restaurants feeding those who are caring and feeding others. The emergency responders helping those in crisis. The supermarket employees still going to work so others can eat. The teachers working and making sure the children are cared for and learning. The nursing home staff caring for other people’s mothers as Jesus commanded his disciple to care for Mary. The decision makers and military moving supplies to where they are needed. Everyone who is staying home to help this end.
These are all acts of love.
We’ve suddenly become a society that no longer cheers and adulates athletes and movie stars, but instead nurses, doctors, janitorial staff of hospitals.
A society doing all we can to protect the most vulnerable.
Being of service to others.
Today is Good Friday.
I’ve always thought it should be called something other than good. In Germany it is called sorrowful Friday. Whenever I see the story of Jesus’s death, I cry every time He is suffering on the cross. It’s hard to see anything good about His suffering.
It’s where God’s wrath meets God’s mercy.
It’s where Jesus pays the price for us all, so that we may also have eternal life.
He loves us to the end.
He loves us in the good times.
He loves us in the hard time.
He loves us.
That’s why I read the Bible yesterday. I was feeling sick, anxious and sad because we won’t be seeing family on Easter, exhausted from working, I got my blood biopsy report and it’s one more thing to try to understand, with a new mutation I didn’t know about, while a pandemic is raging and we have no idea about school this year or now even next year.
But He is with me.
We lay it all at His feet.
We take comfort in His everlasting love.
He loves us to the end.
In Jesus’s name, amen.