Downton Abbey and Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday.

“Maundy” comes from the Latin word for “command” in John 13:34. Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

So on Maundy Thursday some churches hold intimate, simple gatherings before the fireworks of Easter to sing, pray, share the Lord’s Supper, remember when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, and his command to love one another.

Today I usually focus on the love we should have for others. But this year I’m compelled to focus on something else: the love that God first has for us. It’s only when we’re sure of that certain fact that we can ground our love for others in something immovable.

In the popular TV series Downton Abbey, Daisy is a kitchen maid whose young husband William died in World War One. In one scene she visits William’s father, Mr. Mason. Now that he has no children, he tells Daisy that she’s all he’s got. Let’s listen in on their conversation:

Mr. Mason: “Without you, I’d have no one to pray for. I think William knew that. So will you be my daughter? Let me take you into my heart? Make you special? You’ll have parents of your own of course…” 

Daisy: “I haven’t got any parents. Not like that. I’ve never been special to anyone.” 

Mr. Mason: “Except William.”

Daisy: “That’s right. I was only ever special to William. Never thought of it like that before.”

Mr. Mason: “Well, now you’re special to me.”

Wow. Mr. Mason seeks her out, “takes her into his heart” to make her his “special daughter.” He’s motivated by fatherly love and loyalty. It’s one of the most touching moments in the whole series.

That’s what your Heavenly Father’s love is like for you.

You have a Loyal Champion in your corner—someone who will go to bat for you, advocate for you, sacrifice A B and C for you… No. Matter. What.

On Maundy Thursday, remember this:

Your life is exceptional, valuable, and firmly rooted in a love you can’t lose.

By Matthew Ruttan

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