Holy Week Reflections: Maundy Thursday

Our Holy Week reflections have been prepared by the Rev Dr Kathy Galloway

Holy Week…
comes to gather us around the one true holy place of the Christian religion, Jesus himself, displayed to the world as the public language of our God, placarded on the history of human suffering that stretches along the roadside.
This is a week for learning not management, bargaining and rule-keeping, but naked trust in that naked gift.
(Rowan Williams)

I read these words of Rowan Williams’ some years ago. Since then, I have often thought about them. What is the public language of our God saying to us; what is Jesus saying to us, especially in this year of global health crisis and its resulting physical distancing for most of us, exhausting work and risk for some, and great loss and tragedy for others? These reflections take as their starting point a verse or two from the gospel reading for each day of Holy Week from the Revised Common Lectionary.

Click below for the audio-visual recording read by Kathy:

So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  John 13,14

Many of us are unable to eat with others at this time. Our thoughts and senses may well go to memories of special family meals, or of wonderful hospitality offered by new friends. And on this day when we cannot celebrate with others the last supper Jesus ate with his companions, we may also remember other Maundy Thursdays.

We are in a garden in a city.

All around us, people are kissing

and being arrested.

We gather for a meal.

The church hall,

is made mysterious and intimate by candlelight.

Hospitality unravels inhibition into laughter, poems,

songs are laced with sadness

and we permit the touching of our feet,

the water lukewarm, the handling gentle,

but still, unnerving in its physicality

and so the movement is a reassuringly familiar one

into remembering the body.

Being this body.

Sharing this body,

this bread,

broken to be shared.


Lord Jesus,
As we remember your last supper with your companions,
Help us to keep faith with those you have given us as ours.
May our churches and our lives not be closed circles of contentment,
but communities and hearts always being broken open to be shared.
So may we serve one another in humility and grace,
as you did.

A full list of all Holy Week Reflections is available here: https://wellingtonchurch.co.uk/category/holy-week-2021/

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