John 13:31-35: When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him,God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.  A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Sometimes, our religious words get in the way of our practice of faith, because words change. They change from one national language to language of another nation, or from meanings in one community to another community. I remember when “cool” no longer was restricted to weather, but also to behavior, or personality. And I remember some others, also. 

One of the most profound religious words which has not changed is the Holy Thursday name of “Maundy Thursday.” Maundy comes from the word “mandatum” which means “commandment.”  It is easy to recognize how closely “mandatum” sounds like “mandate.”

The name “Maundy Thursday” refers to the new commandment Jesus gave at his last supper with the disciples. He told them, after Judas left on his act of betrayal, “I give you a new commandment, love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another.  If you have love for one another, then everyone will know that you are my disciples.”

(John 13: 34-35)

Mandatum .. . commandment . . .  “As I have loved you, so must you love one another.”

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for making faith simple enough to practice, and profound enough to change our lives . . . and our world. Help us keep this, your commandment. AMEN   

Reverend Dr. Regi Thackston

Trinity UMC Pastor Emeritus