It’s Maundy Thursday and we are preparing for a Tenebrae service tonight. For those who aren’t familiar with this worship service, “tenebrae” is Latin for shadows. The purpose of the service is to evoke the emotions of the Passion of Christ – it is not a happy, clappy worship time. It is a time of darkness, candles, shadows, introspection, mourning, but all in the expectancy of what is to come. I look forward to our time of worship this evening. Even just preparing yesterday to help lead the service brought about a sobriety and melancholy that I often suppress.
It is with that emotion that I was reminded today of how cursed I am. It seems I am constantly vexed by the curse of having eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I set myself up as judge all the time. I find my mind flooded with these types of thoughts:
Is she really praying or is she just trying to draw attention to herself?
Nobody is even listening to the speaker or the words from the bible he is reading (meanwhile neither am I as I take time to note everyone else’s failure).
Does anybody else really care about this?
What is he wearing?
Man, she is a good looking person (or conversely, he sure could use some work…)
What does he even do around here?
What a godly woman… (or conversely, what a deadbeat…)
Notice that these thoughts can be of seemingly good or evil but they are all judgments, ones for which I am not suited to make, and no matter the conclusion such an attitude prevents me from loving as God loves. They create discord and thwart unity. God alone makes just, loving, and holy judgments and when I, for example, adjudicate someone as ugly God says, “Who are you to determine that this beautiful girl that I created just as I desired is anything less than fearfully and wonderfully made?” . . . Oh, wretched man that I am! When will I be released from this body of death?!
Praise the Lord that Jesus, in His Passion, proclaimed with authority, “IT IS FINISHED.” May I live in that reality, knowing that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.