Olive garden-like Gethsemene

Today is Maundy Thursday in the Christian tradition of Holy Week. While most think of the Last Supper today….I am thinking about Gethsemene – the place of the exchange.

So what does “Maundy” mean?

Derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,” Maundy refers to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper: to love with humility by serving one another and to remember his sacrifice.

His sacrifice……most think of the cross…..I think of Gethsemene. Jesus loved to pray in the olive garden. He went there after the Last Supper to pour out His heart to the Father. He asked to avoid the cross, He knew what was ahead, but Love prevailed in the olive garden. Jesus exchanged His life for love.

When I visited Jerusalem and knelt at the Rock of Agony in Gethsemene for a photo op, I was captured by the remembrance of what Jesus was feeling as He cried out for relief….His love would not let Him avoid the cross……all for me. I wept deeply, thinking of His love and sacrifice……all for me.

So on this Maundy Thursday I am thinking of Gethsemene, the place of the exchanged life……where His love prevails and I am fully known and fully loved…..then I am free to love others. The true exchange is to let His perfect love flow through me, that is my sacrifice – to be a vessel of His truth and love, poured out as He wills, then refilled to overflowing.  That is the joy set before me on this Maundy Thursday – Gethsemene here I come!