Great Thursday

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Great Thursday – 5 April 2007

Today is the Thursday before Resurrection Day (Easter or Pascha). This day of Holy Week, also known as Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday, commemorates four events:

The washing of the disciples’ feet, the institution of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper (Communion), the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas.

On this day, Jesus and His disciples celebrated Passover, which became known as the Last Supper.

Although the traditional rituals of Christian churches serve to remind us that Jesus, the Son of God, offered Himself as the final sacrifice for us, we must also remember what Paul said in Philippians 2:12-13 “…work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

Jesus Himself said: (Matthew 5:48)

48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
~ New American Standard Bible

Humans have been reluctant to admit that God does not take pleasure in the killing of any of His creatures. Even before Christ, the prophet Micah said: (Micah 6:6-8)

6 With what shall I come to the LORD
And bow myself before the God on high?
Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings,
With yearling calves?

7 Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams,
In ten thousand rivers of oil?
Shall I present my first-born for my rebellious acts,
The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

8 He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?
~ New American Standard Bible

It’s time to climb that ladder of perfection (Matthew 5:48) and take heed of what the Lord Himself says in John 14:12:

12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.
~ New American Standard Bible

It’s obvious that these “greater works” (John 14:12) would involve love, kindness, and gentleness toward all of God’s creation: (Galatians 5:22-24)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
~ New American Standard Bible

How can so many Christians continue to celebrate Christian holidays while using animal products? Have they “crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” if they continue to indulge in products of cruelty from the farmed animal industries? And what is even worse – to use these products (eggs, ham, lamb, etc.) – in celebrating the resurrection of Christ?!
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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