Entangled

You are probably wondering about the title being called “Entangled!’ We will get to that in a moment. So welcome to an important day in history. Yes, today something very significant happened for the Christian faith. You guessed it – ‘the Last Supper.’ It was on this day Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Jewish Passover in an upper room. You can read about all that happened in Matthew 26:17-35, Mark 14:12-31, Luke 22:7-38, John chapter 13-15, and maybe even a few more chapters in John. This event was so important it is in four Gospels! And no, the title ‘Entangled’ is not that this story was entangled with all the other narratives about Jesus, but it is important.

One of the reasons this event is so important is that it is where Jesus institutes the ceremony of Communion. Right there in the middle of the Passover meal Jesus expands the meaning of a few key elements to the Passover meal, and Communion was started, that which most every Christian church constantly seeks to replicate. By the way, if you are in the Cypress area and you would like to know more about how that came about, we are walking through this night at our Maundy Thursday service at 7 p.m. tonight. I would love to see you there! And no, that’s not why I entitled this ‘Entangled’ because the disciple became so entangled in with Jesus’ teachings on this night that they made a tradition of it…though that is a good thought.

Why I used the title ‘Entangled’ has to do with the name given to this day many years ago as early church leaders called this day “Maundy Thursday.” Maundy, from the Latin word ‘mandatum’ or mandate or commandment, because of what Jesus said in John 13:34.

John 13:34 “A new command I give you….

Jesus was giving His disciples some new orders, something they should attend to, something to do; not only if it’s convenient, or if they have time, or if it was deserving. They were required to do this new command regardless if they wanted to, or if they received any benefit from doing it. Out of sheer obedience they were to take action.

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

They were to treat each other in the loving way Jesus treated them. Now, here is where the entangled part comes in. As you read on in John to chapter 15 Jesus starts talking about something everyone there would have seen.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Jesus was talking about grape vines. Now, yes please, do read all of John 15 to get the full image. But this just occurred to me this morning…We are the branches. Have you ever looked at the branches of a grape vine? I have one in my backyard, and yes, the image of being connected and bearing fruit is so vivid. But so are the branches because they are so completely ENTANGLED! There is not one branch that is not supported by, touching or strengthening another. They even have little tactical type twisty fingers that attach to another branch and stay connected.

Jesus’ call for us to love each other means we need to get a little entangled with others. And like grape fines, that get’s messy and a little disorganized, but there is support, strength, and a whole lot of love. We were never meant to be just a lone branch out there.

So take up this command and get a little entangled with others. Take time and make time to build friendship, meet new people, have people over for dinner, go out for coffee or other hot beverage (or cold) and learn of each other’s lives. Don’t focus on who is not talking to you, or who is not inviting you places. You take the initiative. Sure, not everyone will be able connect with you, but keep trying. Who knows, your next best friend may be one of those connections. God placed us here to connect, to be entangled with others, and to love each other as Jesus loves us. Why not give it a try?

Seeking to be a bit more entangled with you,

Mike

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