Thursday, April 13, 2017

Because EVERY Day is Maundy Thursday

Image courtesy of Graphics Mouse/freedigitalphotos.net
Then he poured water into a basin 
and began to wash the disciples' feet 
and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 
“Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, 
“What I am doing you do not understand now, 
but afterward you will understand.” 
Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” 
Jesus answered him, 
“If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”  
John 13: 5-8 ESV

Jesus knew he was about to be betrayed, denied, abandoned and murdered, but he spent his last night on earth serving, washing, and SAVING his disciples.  

Today is Maundy Thursday, and it's time to reflect on Jesus's night before his death on the cross.  

Maundy is derived from the Latin word for "command" and specifically, Maundy Thursday refers to Christ's commandment for us to love each other the way he loves us; to act toward one another the way he acted toward us when he walked among us.  (See Guard the Deposit, "The Meaning of Maundy Thursday:  Love One Another" ).

As followers of Jesus, we want to obey his commandments, but as earthly human beings we find ourselves tired, worn out, stressed, and more inclined to seek to satisfy our selfish desires.  We often feel like God has given us more than we can handle because we have children with special needs, so HOW could He possibly expect any more from us?

But, many of Christ's apostles (ie. James, Peter, Paul...) challenge us by referring to themselves as BOND-SERVANTS. This term comes from the word DULOS.  It refers to one who is devoted to serving others regardless of his or her own interests.  

Well...doesn't that just mess up my idea for "taking a breather" next weekend rather than volunteering at the guest table at church?

How CAN a parent of a child with special needs best SERVE in order to carry out Jesus's commandment to love, and follow his example to wash the feet of those who are also tired and weary?

I personally find one of the best ways to serve is by volunteering WITH and FOR those who are in the trenches with us.  Serving other parents of children with special needs feels like the best way to "love one another" and turn our trials into blessings.  

Is there a non-profit organization for people with your child's diagnosis who need people to assist in some way?
Is there a special need's ministry at your church who could use volunteers?
Is there a Special Olympics or Club Unify in your area that could use your help?
Or how about volunteering and supporting a special needs ministry organization dedicated to creating a place for parents and caregivers to come together, both on the computer AND in person, where we can support, encourage, and spiritually lift one another up?
Let's face it, there are thousands of ways we can help...and, by golly, we are CALLED, no, COMMANDED to do so!

Maybe THIS Maundy Thursday is the perfect time for YOU to start.  Take a leap of faith and follow Jesus's example to "wash the feet" of those around you, EVEN while you struggle to make sense of what lies ahead of you.  

Here are THREE easy ways to start:

Contact Snappin' Ministries about ways YOU can use your talents to serve other families of children with special needs.

Make a monetary donation to Snappin' Ministries as this organization provides online Bible studies for parents and caregivers of children with special needs, as well as hosts events in Wisconsin for mothers, fathers, and entire families to attend to refresh and reset.  

Visit the Snappin' Ministries online store for books that you can read or share with others to help them in their spiritual walk.

Snappin' Ministries has been founded on the premise set in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 that God "...comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."  

Jesus spent time with his disciples (even the ones who would deny and betray him) the night before his brutal death and commanded us to spend time with those around us...even in the midst of our most difficult trials.  And, as God provides us with the help we need, should we not, in turn, help others?

Pray:  Father God, this was a difficult message to read because it challenges the part of us that wants to give in to our weak earthly bodies.  But, you have commanded us to serve out of our LOVE for you.  Give us the STRENGTH, COURAGE, and MOTIVATION to do just that.  We want to be your hands and feet.  And we know that now is the time to do that.  Thank you for all the comfort you give us.  Now, may we go on to be a comfort to others.  Amen.

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