READINGOld Testament: Jeremiah 20:7-11
Psalms: Psalms 102
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 10:14-17; 11:27-32
Gospel: John 17:1-26
Evening Psalms: Psalms 142, 143
DEVOTIONALToday, the Lord humbles himself to wash our feet. We freely receive His love for our lives. He also commands us to bring the same love to the rest of the world. But how? With skills, time, or money?
A decade ago, I walked out of the movie Hotel Rwanda wondering how the world could allow genocide to happen before our eyes. I sided with the radical theologian William Hamilton in describing the global populace as careless, selfish, and devoid of God, yet urging them to do good works even without the Divine. I said to myself, “We can never let a tragedy like this happen again!” But by the time I got to my car, I realized that it was happening again. The tragedy in Darfur had begun to gain global attention and was bordering on genocide. I was now on the stand receiving the judgment I had given to the rest of the world. Oh boy; it was a gut check. Somehow, the Lord kicked me hard enough to make me pick up the phone, call a friend of mine, and shout, “Ok, enough talking! We’ve got to finally do something.”
I was scared to death to say “Yes” to Jesus’ call and finally take action against the injustices in the Sudan. But as Jesus declares in today’s Gospel, “The glory that you have given me, I have given to them that they may be one even as we are one.” This tells me that none of us are left behind or ill-equipped, that as Christians we have been united with our Lord to recognize and heal the various “deaths of God” in the world.
Two months after that phone call, my friend and I produced the very first Save Darfur Concert in Hollywood. It did not solve any of the issues in Africa, but it was a catalyst that launched us into the global network that is fighting on much bigger stages to end genocides across the globe.
Maundy Thursday reminds me that somehow I am miraculously made one with Christ. I am given hope that, even in my own selfishness and doubt, I have the opportunity to join Jesus’ call to help heal a fallen world. In my call to ministry I must infuse today’s Gospel promise, fight the fears of inadequacy to fulfill God's call within me, and accept Jesus' words that we, that I, have been given the same God given glory to help unite the world in His love. Amen.