April 21, 2011

Mandatum Novum

I'm sure I've posted this before, but here's a meditation on Maundy Thursday I wrote a few years ago.

Mandatum Novum

A New Command
To love and to serve
Of course isn’t so new
We’ve heard it before
Preachers and prophets proclaimed it
Telling us it was God’s Word, God’s will
To love, to serve
We’ve heard it before –
In one way or another
In the Commandments carried down the mountain by Moses
In the words of Micah, “Seek justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God”
In Isaiah’s invitation, “To loose the chains of injustice… and set the oppressed free”
We’ve heard it before
But never really understood it, never really lived it

It’s a new command
That isn’t so new
Only revealed in a new way
When the Master acts as the servant
When the King takes on the cross
When the great reversal is revealed
            And peacemakers prosper
            And the humble inherit
            And the persecuted find a place in the kingdom of God
When mercy, not might, reigns supreme
And in death, new life is revealed

This is the moment
The new command takes new root
Shattering our assumptions
Opening our ears
Transforming our lives
A new command
Given to us
By the One who lived it
            By the One who loves us so much
                        Anything is made possible

Even we – with hardened hearts
            Even we – ready to employ every excuse
                        Even we – are loved
Even we – are called to live like he did
Loving and serving
So that all may know
Of the grace
            Of the greatness
                        Of the glory
Of our God.

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